Who Pays When a Judgment is awarded by a Jury?
If you or a loved one received medical treatment for injuries sustained in a car accident, there are likely a number of outstanding expensive medical bills. It seems obvious that the person who caused the car accident would be on the hook for paying for them. But are they? The answer can be very tricky and it depends on the specifics of your particular case, but usually the answer is no.
Oftentimes a trial in a car accident case doesn’t occur for many months or years after the accident happened. There are many reasons why this is true that we won’t talk about here. But what happens to the medical bills during that time?
Initially, most medical providers will bill the auto insurance for the person that caused the wreck and the auto insurance for the person that received the medical treatment. Occasionally these bills will be paid but in the vast majority of cases, the auto insurance companies don’t want to pay the medical providers directly. They want to wait and pay the plaintiff for the medical bills when a settlement is negotiated and the plaintiff pays the medical bills from their settlement.
If a settlement is not reached, then the lawsuit gets filed and eventually the case gets presented to a jury at a trial. The auto insurance companies are not named in the lawsuit, and the jury will almost certainly never hear anything about auto insurance during the trial. There are several laws that prohibit the name of an auto insurance company from even being mentioned in front of the jury. But the insurance companies are still a big part of the case—in fact, they are paying for the lawyer who is defending the person that caused the wreck. So the insurance company is just waiting quietly in the wings (in secret) to see what the jury awards for the plaintiff while the lawyer for the defendant does all he can do to limit how much the jury will award the plaintiff.
Then, when it’s all said and done and the jury announces its verdict and says how much the plaintiff is to be paid, in most cases, the auto insurance company is the one that pays—up to its limit on the insurance policy. In the vast majority of cases, the person that caused the wreck (the defendant in the case) doesn’t pay a penny to the plaintiff. It all comes from his or her insurance company.
While this isn’t necessarily true for every single accident case in the legal system, most ordinary cases result in this outcome.
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At Studstill Firm, LLP, we are comprised of hard-working, dedicated, and tenacious personal injury lawyers who have one goal in mind: helping you achieve the results you deserve. We know dealing with an unexpected injury or accident at the hands of another’s negligence is one of the most frightening and frustrating experiences to endure, which is why we do everything in our power to fight for you. Don’t face your legal situation alone—let us be your trusted guide throughout the entire process.
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