What Is the Average Cost of Hospital Bills Following a Car Accident?

The average cost of hospital bills throughout a person’s life is around $57,000. If someone needs to go to the emergency room, the typical cost is about $3,300, and getting an ambulance ride to the emergency room is around $900. Moreover, the average cost for a medical air flight is $50,000.

This analysis is based on the CDC reports that over 2.5 million Americans end up in the emergency department (ED) because of car accidents. Out of those, about 200,000 people have to stay in the hospital. However, the cost of medical treatment and hospital bills can vary because of several factors, such as the severity of injuries, the type of medical care required, and your location.

If you’ve been hurt in a car crash in New York or the nearby areas, the car accident lawyers at Uptown Injury Law Firm, PLLC, are here to help. Our commitment is to thoroughly assess the average cost of your hospital bill due to injuries, ensuring a clear understanding of your rights. Get in touch with us online or call 917-540-8728 to book your complimentary and confidential case review.

Reckless actions caused car accident

Average Cost of Your Hospital Bills After a Car Crash

Hospital bills or medical expenses after a car accident can be sky-high, and it’s challenging to pinpoint an exact answer to this question. According to CDC reports, the estimated cost of hospital bills for car accidents varies across age groups:

  • 0 to 14 years old: $1.1 billion
  • 15 to 29 years old: $6.5 billion
  • 30 to 49 years old: $5 billion
  • 50 to 69 years old: $3.8 billion
  • 70 and older: $2 billion

Similarly, according to the data revealed by the Insurance Information Institute, the average payout for bodily injuries covered by auto liability insurance in the U.S. is around $18,417. It’s important to note that this is just an average payout. The actual amount can vary depending on different factors.

Factors That Determine the Cost of Hospital Bills

Several factors play an important role in determining your hospital bill after a car accident, such as:

  1. The severity of your car accident injuries
  2. Medical procedures and tests like CT scans, MRIs, and X-rays
  3. Length of your stay at the hospital
  4. Medications
  5. Rehabilitation and physical therapy
  6. Services of healthcare providers such as surgeons, specialists, and nurses
  7. Location and hospital type, such as urban and private hospitals
  8. Auto insurance coverage and your health insurance coverage

Understanding and managing these costs can be complex, but you don’t have to face them alone. The Uptown Injury Law has a dedicated team of attorneys ready to assist you. Our team has medical professionals who can help accurately determine the average cost of hospital bills arising from a car accident. Contact us today for a no-obligation, risk-free consultation.

Ways to Pay Your Hospital Bills After a Car Accident

When it comes to paying your hospital bills after a car accident, you’ve got a few choices, such as:

  • Personal injury protection or PIP coverage
  • Health insurance
  • Legal recourse through a lawsuit

1. Personal Injury Protection or PIP Coverage

In car accident cases, one way to pay your hospital bills is through PIP coverage. It acts as a crucial safety net. In New York (a no-fault state), if you’re a driver, you must include PIP in your auto insurance. This means that if you have PIP coverage, your insurance company will recover all your medical bills, regardless of who caused the accident.

A basic policy for PIP in New York usually covers about $50,000 for hospital bills and 80% of lost income. However, it’s essential to know that PIP doesn’t cover property damages or non-monetary effects like pain and suffering. It’s a straightforward solution for immediate medical needs and financial stability, focusing on your health during unexpected situations.

2. Your Personal Health Insurance Policy

Your health insurance can also provide financial support and ease the burden of medical bills associated with a car accident, ensuring that you can focus on your recovery without the added stress of hefty healthcare costs.

This coverage will depend on your specific health insurance plan and cover your deductibles and co-payments. Therefore, it’s essential to review your policy details to understand the extent of your coverage and any out-of-pocket expenses you pay.

3. Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If your PIP coverage and health insurance fall short of covering your hospital expenses, you can pursue legal action by initiating a personal injury lawsuit. For example, in New York, a no-fault state, you can take legal action against the at-fault party if your injuries meet the serious threshold. This allows you to seek compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Future medical costs
  • Disabilities and lost income or wages
  • Ambulance fees
  • Emergency room visit
  • Non-economic damages like mental trauma, loss of quality of life, and emotional distress
  • Charges for common surgeries such as knee, brain, and back surgery during even minor car accidents

Therefore, consulting with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney is the first step in understanding how a lawsuit can help you with your hospital bills and secure the compensation you deserve.

What Does It Mean by New York Serious Injury Threshold?

According to the New York Insurance Law § 5104, Article 51, if you’re involved in a personal injury case due to negligence in a motor vehicle accident, you need to show either that your basic economic loss is more than $50,000 or that you’ve suffered a “serious injury,” defined as:

  • Death
  • Dismemberment
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Fracture
  • Fetus loss
  • Permanent loss of use of a body organ, function, or system
  • Permanent consequential limitation of a body organ
  • Limitation of use of a body function or system
  • Medical injury or any damage of a non-permanent nature that prevents you from doing most of your daily activities for at least 90 days within the first 180 days after the injury.

Liable Parties for Your Medical Bills in New York Car Crash

Various parties may be held accountable for your medical expenses following a car accident in New York:

  1. At-Fault Parties: These include negligent drivers, whether they operate cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, or pedestrians. Seeking compensation can be pursued through a personal injury claim or, if necessary, by taking legal action through a personal injury lawsuit.
  2. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage Provider: In New York, a no-fault insurance state, drivers must have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. This coverage allows you to cover medical bills irrespective of fault, providing a crucial safety net.
  3. Health Insurance Provider: If neither the at-fault party’s insurance nor your own auto insurance adequately covers all expenses, your health insurance can step in to cover the remaining costs, subject to deductibles and copayments.
  4. Employer: If the car accident is work-related, you can seek compensation from your employer’s insurance policy. 
  5. Government Agencies: If a governmental organization or employee caused your car crash, you can file a claim against such entities.
  6. Car Manufacturer: In cases where a mechanical defect in your vehicle contributes to the crash, you may seek damages from the car manufacturer.

However, when you’re at fault and lack insurance coverage, you will be responsible for covering all your hospital bills. Nonetheless, it’s important to note that recovery of damages is still possible, even if you are at fault. In such cases, seeking guidance from experienced car crash lawyers at Uptown Injury Law in New York can help you explore all compensation options and protect your rights.

car accident lawyer in new york

Hospital Bills After a Car Crash in New York

If you have a car accident in New York, it’s crucial to understand the state’s no-fault insurance system. This means that regardless of fault, your own insurance company, through Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, will cover your hospital bills. If another driver is responsible for a car accident, their insurance company will handle your medical expenses under the no-fault insurance law. PIP coverage, also known as no-fault insurance, covers hospital bills and lost earnings, typically up to a limit of $50,000.

However, if your medical bills surpass this limit, you may be responsible for covering the excess out of your pocket. Moreover, if the other driver is uninsured or underinsured, your own insurance’s Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM) coverage comes into play if you have it in your auto insurance policy. And if things get complicated, you can consider filing a personal injury lawsuit for more comprehensive compensation. In New York, the timeline to file your lawsuit is three years from the date of the accident for personal injury cases.

It’s important to note that while PIP coverage addresses medical expenses and lost earnings, it doesn’t account for emotional distress or property damages. In such cases, remember to report the accident to your insurance ASAP and consider consulting a car accident attorney to help with medical bills or other costs.

How Does No-Fault Insurance Law Work in New York?

In New York, the no-fault insurance law operates as a system to simplify the compensation process for individuals involved in auto accidents. Under this law, if you’re a driver in NYC, you must have personal injury protection in your auto insurance policy. No matter whose fault it is, this insurance covers your hospital bills and other financial losses.

This means that instead of pursuing a claim against the at-fault party or proving another driver’s liability, you turn to your own insurance company for compensation. It’s like having a straightforward and hassle-free way to get support after a motor vehicle accident.

How to Submit a No-Fault Insurance Claim In New York?

If someone else caused your car crash, you can make a no-fault claim with your own insurance company. It’s important to do this within 30 days, and your insurance will cover all medical bills and other losses from the accident. Additionally, the good thing about this coverage is that it allows you to submit a claim with your insurance company even if the accident was your fault.

Moreover, under New York’s no-fault laws, you can file a negligence claim for pain and suffering against the at-fault driver. Uptown Injury Law, New York car accident attorneys, can help you file your no-fault claim on time and get the compensation you deserve.

Average Cost of Hospital Bills for Minor and Major Car Accidents

Whether you are in a minor car accident or a major one, medical expenses can quickly add up. However, here are some estimated amounts for your reference:

Minor Car Accidents: In car accidents where minor injuries are less severe and require minimal medical care, hospital bills tend to be lower. You may only need a brief emergency room visit for evaluation and minor treatments. For example, the average emergency room visit in NYC is around $1,668.

Furthermore, according to one study in 2021, the average cost for all motor vehicle crashes was approximately $10,600,000. This amount includes the cost of 1 death, 53 non-fatal injuries, 202 property damages, and the cost of minor injuries.

Major Car Accidents: Major auto accidents involving severe injuries, surgeries, and extended hospital stays can naturally result in higher hospital bills. These incidents require extensive medical care, which significantly impacts the overall cost.

According to a 2012 study by the CDC, the average hospital bill for a patient who needed medical care due to a car accident was approximately $56,674. Additionally, the overall cost of medical bills resulting from work loss due to crash-related injuries for hospitalized patients amounted to $23.5 billion.

Common Types of Hospital Bills Following a Car Crash

Here are various types of medical bills you may face after a car accident, but not limited to:

  • Emergency room (ER) bills
  • Ambulance services
  • Hospitalization expenses such as charges for inpatient care, including room, board, and medical services during your hospital stay.
  • Physician and specialist fees
  • Costs for X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and other diagnostic procedures to assess injuries.
  • Prescription medications
  • Charges for medical equipment prescribed for recovery
  • Healthcare services bills that are provided at home if recommended by medical professionals.
  • Bills for mental health services if the accident has caused emotional distress. 

It’s important to note that the specific bills you may face depend on the nature and severity of your injuries and the healthcare services you require. Keep all the records for your medical bills and consult with an attorney if you need assistance with the legal aspects of car accident compensation

What if You Can’t Afford to Pay Your Medical Expenses After an Auto Accident?

If you cannot afford the costs of your hospital bills, contact your insurance company ASAP. Inform them about the accident and inquire about the coverage available to cover your medical bills. Most auto insurance policies provide personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payment coverage, which can help offset medical costs.

Furthermore, investigate government assistance programs that may be available to you, like Medicaid or other state-specific programs. You can also contact an Uptown Injury car accident attorney to explore your legal options. They can help you determine if you have a valid case and support you in seeking compensation for your medical expenses.

Contact Uptown Injury New York Car Accident Lawyer Today

Accidents happen when you least expect them, and a car crash can instantly turn your world upside down. At Uptown Injury Law, PLLC, our dedicated team of NYC car accident lawyers and medical professionals understands the challenges you may face. We’ve seen it all and understand how to protect your rights.

With 15+ years of experience in the field, we’ve achieved $100 million in settlements and verdicts. Our clients consistently give us a top-notch 5-star rating. You can count on our skills and commitment to handle your case with a personalized approach.

We believe in your case and operate on a contingency fee system, which means No Win, No Fee ━ You won’t pay a dime unless we win your case. Your peace of mind is our priority. Contact us today or call 917-540-8728 for a FREE OF CHARGE consultation.


What to Do With the Hospital Bills After a Car Accident?

Maintain detailed records of all medical invoices and financial transactions associated with the accident. These medical bills serve as crucial evidence that will greatly support your attorney when they initiate the filing of your car accident claim. Thus, a comprehensive record of communications, hospital bills, and payments will strengthen your case and enhance the likelihood of a favorable outcome in your legal proceedings.

How Long Do I Have to Wait for an Emergency Room Visit?

Based on data from the CDC, nearly 44% of people in the emergency room get seen within the first 15 minutes of their arrival. However, the remaining 56% have to wait longer, sometimes for an hour or more. In cases of severe injuries, talk with the triage nurse for immediate medical attention and assessment.

Does My Car Insurance Cover Hospital Bills After an Accident?

Yes, your own car insurance coverage can cover hospital bills, but it depends on your policy. Review your coverage to confirm if it includes personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payments coverage. These can help cover hospital bills for you.

Can I Negotiate or Dispute Hospital Bills Incurred From a Car Accident?

Yes, you can negotiate or dispute hospital bills from a car accident. Contact the hospital’s billing department to discuss the charges and negotiate a lower payment or set up a payment plan. Furthermore, if there are errors or questionable charges, provide documentation and dispute them with your insurance company and the hospital.

Can I Recover Hospital Bills if the Accident Wasn’t My Fault?

Yes, you may be able to recover hospital bills if the accident wasn’t your fault by submitting a car accident claim against the at-fault party’s insurance. Keep records of medical expenses and relevant documentation for the claim. Furthermore, consult a personal injury attorney to assess your case and pursue compensation.


Kyle Newman Founder and Senior Trial Lawyer at Uptown Injury Law New York's Best Personal Injury Medical Malpractice and Accident Law firm New York's Top Trial Lawyers
Kyle Newman Founder and Senior Trial Lawyer at Uptown Injury Law New York's Best Personal Injury Medical Malpractice and Accident Law firm New York's Top Trial Lawyers

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