Children are natural explorers, which can result in injury. If your child is injured on another person’s property, you may be concerned with how you’ll pay for medical expenses. Your child may be facing severe injuries and the life-changing consequences of them, and navigating the process of filing a claim may be low on your list of priorities.
If there is a premises liability policy in place, such as homeowner’s insurance, it is likely that your child will be covered by the policy. Timeliness is key in reporting the injury to the insurance company, so as to prevent them from denying your claim due to the time passed since the accident. After you submit your report to the company, you may want to determine what type of claim would be appropriate.
Medical Payments Coverage
Many homeowner’s insurance policies include “medical payments” coverage, which is no-fault coverage. This coverage does not require you to prove the accident was the fault of a negligent property owner, so no matter how the accident occurred, your child should be covered by this policy. Typically, medical payment coverage is sold in increments ranging from $1,000 to over $50,000, and can cover medical payments. Submitting your medical bills to the insurance company allows them to settle your bills for you, or it is possible the company will send you a check for your total medical expenses.
Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
This is the second type of coverage that homeowner’s insurance provides. This type of coverage covers accidents where the property owner or their family is at fault. The burden of proof is placed on you or your attorney, so you must be sure to document anything that can be used to prove fault. Whereas a medical payment policy will cover medical bills only, a bodily injury liability policy can cover medical expenses, loss of work, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the injury.
What to Do
If your child is injured, it is most important to first seek medical treatment. Claims and insurance can wait, but the welfare of your child cannot. You need to notify the property owner’s insurance company of the injury as soon as possible, preferably in writing. Remember that many policies have a clause allowing them to reject claims if the company is not notified in a timely fashion.
When it comes time to make a claim, you will have to decide which option is better for your case: medical payment coverage or bodily injury liability coverage. If the property owner or their family is at fault, and you are able to prove it, a bodily injury liability claim may offer more compensation. If there is no one to blame for the accident, a medical payment claim is the more likely choice.
Depending on the type of claim you make, your next steps will vary. An experienced personal injury attorney can guide you through either claim. If you file a medical payment claim, you or your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company about how payments will be made to cover medical expenses. Many hospitals file bills directly with the insurance company; however, you may wish to send the bills yourself. The hospital can be paid directly or the company will pay you, at which point you can take charge of paying your child’s medical expenses.
If you file a bodily injury liability claim, you will have to prove that the accident was the fault of the property owners. This may involve a legal battle in court, so it is best to contact an attorney to represent you. A skilled personal injury lawyer can help prove the fault of the homeowner in your child’s accident, and can argue on your behalf for adequate compensation.
If your child was injured on another person’s property, contact Jordan, Herington & Rowley today. Our firm of experienced Denver personal injury lawyers is here to answer your questions and help you receive compensation for your child’s injury. Contact us today to learn more.