In the aftermath of a severe accident, victims often face substantial physical, emotional and financial consequences, sometimes due to someone else’s negligence. However, if you struggle to keep up with compounding medical bills while your injuries hinder you from working, you do not have to face this burden alone. Arizona offers resources for accident victims that provide financial, legal and emotional support.
Financial Resources for Accident Victims
The cost of medical treatment is often a heavy financial burden for accident victims, especially for those who have no health care insurance. Fortunately, there are ways to get medical care without increasing your financial responsibilities. Start by considering the care you need and the medical professionals who can provide it. The following resources can help alleviate the financial burden of necessary medical treatment.
1. Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System
AHCCCS is Arizona’s Medicaid program. The system provides access to more than 115,000 health care professionals and offers comprehensive health services, including physical, psychological and behavioral care. Through AHCCCS, you can choose your health care plan based on your specific needs, and there are no obstacles for patients with preexisting conditions.
In 2014, Arizona began offering health insurance under AHCCCS for previously ineligible adults, such as caretaker relatives, pregnant women, young adults, people with disabilities, and adults over 65. As with all Medicaid programs, you must earn less than the state-mandated income level to qualify. If you need assistance with costs related to your accident, contact the Medicaid office to see if you are eligible for coverage.
2. Provider Financing or Medical Liens
Some health care providers specialize in accident cases. They often see patients with financial struggles and no insurance. For example, if you need to see an auto accident physician or chiropractor for treatment, many offer in-office payment plans for patients without insurance coverage.
Some doctors will accept a medical lien if you have a pending civil lawsuit against the party responsible for your accident. A medical lien, also known as a personal injury lien, allows you to access care from the physician during the process of your lawsuit under a contractual agreement. You agree to pay the provider when your case concludes in a pretrial settlement or post-trial award. Among the resources for accident victims, this is one of the most common because accident victims often file personal injury lawsuits to recover compensation for their losses.
3. Medical Payments Insurance
An auto accident case is the most common type of accident involving personal injury. In no-fault states, drivers must carry personal injury protection insurance to cover medical costs and lost income as a result of an accident. However, Arizona is not a no-fault personal injury state. Therefore, residents of Arizona cannot access PIP insurance, but Arizona does offer something similar called medical payments insurance, known as MedPay.
The state does not require you to purchase MedPay. However, it is likely worth it at only $10 per month, and it covers medical costs for the following:
- The policyholder
- Named drivers in the policyholder’s household
- Passengers injured during the accident
Unlike PIP insurance, MedPay does not cover lost income from missed work or loss of earning capacity caused by your injuries. It also doesn’t cover property damage or non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress and mental anguish. For these losses, many accident victims turn to legal resources.
Legal Resources for Accident Victims
Accident victims sometimes need legal resources to get necessary medical and financial help. Unfortunately, many are unaware of the options available. In addition, for those injured on the job, the process of accessing medical care and financial assistance is slightly different than for those suffering an injury elsewhere.
4. Industrial Commission of Arizona
Arizona requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, and the Industrial Commission of Arizona regulates the system. The organization’s portal provides employees with workers’ comp information, including petitions for claims requests, forms for filing a claim and legal statutes for workers’ comp claims.
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, which means you typically cannot file a lawsuit against your employer. Additionally, your employer cannot deny workers’ comp coverage even if your negligence caused the accident. However, if you face problems with your employer or workers’ comp claim, you may benefit from speaking to a personal injury lawyer.
5. Personal Injury Law
Arizona tort law provides an avenue of legal support to victims of personal injury caused by another party’s negligence. This includes cases involving:
- Auto accidents, including truck, motorcycle and pedestrian cases
- Premises liability, such as slip-and-fall cases
- Product liability
- Wrongful death
- Medical malpractice
- Workplace injury
Personal injury law is a fault-based system. For example, suppose you file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your losses, such as medical bills, lost income, damaged property and psychological suffering. For such a case, you must prove the defendant’s liability for the accident and those damages. These cases typically settle before the trial phase, and victims often receive a substantially higher settlement with legal representation from a personal injury lawyer.
Emotional Support Resources for Accident Victims
Emotional support in the wake of a terrible accident is essential for accident victims. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for accident victims to suffer from anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. Arizona offers resources for accident victims and anyone else with mental health concerns.
6. Mental Health American of Arizona
MHA of AZ offers a broad range of mental health support services. For example, if you find yourself struggling emotionally after your accident or feeling stressed, withdrawn or out of control, MHA provides a free online screening to help you get the referral you need. In addition, they have access to mental health professionals across the state who take various insurances or offer services to people without insurance coverage.
If you need help getting through the fallout from an accident, remember you are not alone. Arizona has many resources for accident victims to ensure you get the medical help you need for physical and emotional suffering. Additionally, a personal injury attorney can help you recover compensation for your case’s economic and non-economic damages. Contact MDK Law Group today for a free consultation.