Who Pays My Medical Bills After a Virginia Motorcycle Crash?

If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle crash in Virginia, you’re probably beginning to see the medical bills come in and the medical costs piling up. Small injuries are rare in motorcycle crashes because of the lack of protection that motorcycle riders have. You’re probably starting to wonder “who is going to pay all of these bills?” If your first thought is that the insurance company for the negligent driver should be paying them as they come in, you’re in for a surprise.

The other driver’s auto insurance company is only ever going to write you one check. In exchange for that check, the car insurance company is going to ask you to sign a release that says that the check you’re receiving is a “full and final settlement” and that you can never come back to the insurance company or the driver and ask for more money.

Will I owe any money back to my health insurance company after I settle my Virginia car accident case?

It is the auto accident victim’s nightmare. You’ve finally made a physical recovery from the crash, you’ve paid off your co-pays and you’ve negotiated what you believe to be a fair settlement with the other driver’s auto insurance company. Then you get the letter from your health insurance company saying that you owe them thousands of dollars. How did this happen?

Virginia, by and large, is an anti-subrogation state. This means that most Virginians will not owe any money back to their health insurance company after they settle their personal injury lawsuit. However, if you are one of the key exceptions to this rule, you may be in for a rude awakening shortly after you settle your case.

If you are a Medicare, Medicaid or Tricare recipient; if you work for a government entity; if your health insurance plan is “self-funded;” if your health insurance plan has an ERISA clause; or if you have an out-of-state health insurance plan, you may end up owing serious money to back at the end of your case.

Taxpayer Funded Plans

Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare plans are always entitled to be repaid. Medicare and Medicaid will send lien notices early on in the case, but Medicare can be incredibly difficult to work with because their liens will often be overbroad and will include treatment that does not have anything to do with your auto accident. An experienced personal injury lawyer can work with Medicare to get those unrelated charges removed.

Government Employee Plans

If you work for the federal government and have a health insurance plan pursuant to the Federal Employee Health Benefits Act (FEHBA), you are likely to owe money back to the health carrier at the end of your case. You will need to review the health insurance plan’s language to see whether you are entitled to a credit for any attorney’s fee or for any funds paid by your own automobile insurance policy.

Virginia Employer Based Health Plans

These plans require in depth research. Often, the health plan will send out a lien notice even when they are not entitled to any money and see whether they get repaid. Experienced auto accident lawyers know where to look in the policy, known which questions to ask of the subrogation agents, and know how to negotiate liens that are valid or dispose of liens that are not.

Not sure whether your health plan is entitled to be repaid? Most people aren’t. The easiest thing to do is to ask your HR director at work whether your plan is subject to subrogation following an auto accident – he or she should know the answer.

Be on the lookout for any letters from your health insurance company asking for information regarding your car accident case. If you do receive something, you should forward it to your attorney as soon as possible, as this is a red flag that your policy falls into one of the above categories. The attorney cannot make the lien “go away,” but we can find out exactly what you’re going to owe before we settle your case so that you don’t get stuck with a several thousand dollar bill a month later.

Who Pays My Medical Bills After a Virginia Trucking Accident?

If you’ve been injured in a tractor trailer accident in Virginia, you’re probably starting to see the medical bills come in and the medical costs piling up. You might be wondering “who is going to pay all of these bills?” If your first thought is that the insurance company for the other driver should be paying them as they come in, you’re in for a surprise.

The negligent driver’s insurance company is only ever going to write you one check. In exchange for that check, the auto insurance company is going to ask you to sign a release that says that the check you’re receiving is a “full and final settlement” and that you can never come back to the insurance company or the driver and ask for more money.

So who pays my bills and co-pays for physical therapy?
If you have health insurance, they should be paying the bills as they come in. However, you need to be aware that the doctor or chiropractor you are seeing for physical therapy might not be in network with your health insurance company. It’s important to ask your treating physician whether they accept (and are willing to bill) your health insurance company before you start treating with them.

You also need to be aware that while most health insurance policies in Virginia do not have a right of subrogation, some do. This means that you might end up in a position where you owe money back to your health insurance company after you settle your car accident case. It is not safe to assume that just because you haven’t received notice of a lien that you won’t owe anything back. You will want your personal injury lawyer to look into the particulars of your health insurance plan.

Who pays my auto accident bills if I don’t have health insurance?
If you don’t have health insurance, the next place to look is at your own auto policy. You might have medical expense payments benefits that are available to you. MedPay is an optional form of coverage on Virginia policies (it can be called PIP or “personal injury protection” on out of state policies). Essentially, it is a supplement form of health insurance that pays for your medical bills and co-pays as they are incurred. On Virginia policies, you do not have to repay the MedPay money after settling your case, but if you have an out of state policy, you certainly want to check wtih your attorney.

What if I don’t have either health insurance or MedPay?
If you have neither health insurance or MedPay, you may be able to work out an assignment of benefits with your health care providers. This means that you and your attorney will sign a document saying that the doctor will be paid for their treatment before any money from the settlement is released to you.

What about the other driver? Shouldn’t he be paying??
Well yes, of course your personal injury attorney is going to make a demand at the end of the case on the other driver’s insurance company to settle the case. But you want to make sure that before you get to that point, your medical bills from the auto accident are not going into collections and that you’re not being sued for them.

How to Find the Best Attorney for Your Virginia Auto Accident Case

If you’ve been injured in a Virginia car crash and you’re looking for a lawyer on the internet, you’re probably wondering how to choose the best lawyer for your case. After all, a Google search for Fairfax personal injury lawyer only returns 564,000 results.

How do you choose? Should you just call the guy with the best website? Should you do a comparative analysis of the case results pages and see who has the highest verdicts? Should you pick the lawyer who promises you a “quick and easy” settlement? The fact is that if you’ve never had to hire a personal injury lawyer before, you probably have no clue about how to distinguish between the half-million Fairfax lawyer sites on the internet.

Call a lawyer you already know.

Just about everyone knows a lawyer. If you live in northern Virginia, you probably have a friend or acquaintance who is a lawyer. But if you don’t, chances are you had a traffic ticket, went through a divorce or purchased a home and used a settlement attorney and previously met at least one lawyer. The first thing that you should do is call someone you know or trust and ask for a recommendation. Even if your friend isn’t a personal injury lawyer and has never tried an auto accident case, chances are he knows who to recommend and who to tell you to stay away from. Getting a personal referral is the best way to find a lawyer. About 70% of our caseload is referral based.


Discuss your case with the lawyer on the phone before you meet him.

You should be able to get your potential lawyer or at least his assistant on the phone to discuss the facts of your case before you meet him. He might tell you that your case is one that he doesn’t think he can handle or that you would be better off just handling it on your own.
Actually meet with your lawyer. You would be surprised how many people sign a retainer agreement with a lawyer and have never met him in person. You want to see your lawyer in person and ask questions about your case and it’s handling to make sure that you are comfortable with him representing you.

Beware the lawyer who promises you anything.

The first time you meet a lawyer, he knows absolutely nothing about your case. Sure he knows that you were in an accident, that you went to the emergency room and have seen your primary care doctor and maybe a physical therapist, but he probably has no idea what your prognosis is, how long you’ll have to treat, and whether you’ll have any medical bills leftover. There is simply no way to tell you, at the first meeting, what your case is worth or whether you will owe medical bills at the end of your case. Any lawyer who tells you otherwise is lying.


Ask how often if the lawyer has handled cases like yours.

You don’t want a lawyer who is learning on the job or trying to figure out your case as he goes along. If he doesn’t have significant experience handling auto accident cases and taking personal injury cases all the way to trial, the insurance company will know that and adjust the offers in your case accordingly. At David Marks Law, all we do is personal injury work for the injured party.

Ask about potential problems on the horizon

Always ask your lawyer what arguments the insurance company will make and whether the lawyer sees any problems on the horizon. Good personal injury attorneys in Fairfax will be able to answer these questions. They’ve heard what the insurance companies have had to say in cases involving minor damage, previous injuries, drunk drivers and pedestrians and know how to respond to them. The lawyer that anticipates the argument is in a better position to counter it.


Contact us to learn more about how we would serve you.

How To Deal With The Adjuster Who Says “No One Gets Hurt In Small Accidents”

We hear frequently from clients who tell us that they attempted to negotiate a settlement for their personal injury case on their own, but then became frustrated with the adjuster. If you talk to enough of them, it’s easy to tell which adjusters you’re going to have problems with. These are the adjusters who say things like “no one ever gets hurt in crashes like this,” or “your pain should have resolved in X weeks,” or “you are the only case I’ve seen where…”When you come across an adjuster like this – one who makes you feel stupid, petty, or even fraudulent – the only thing left to do is seek legal advice. While the insurance adjuster making offers on your case is never truly on your side, adjusters who say things like this are making it clear that they will not be offering you a fair value to settle your auto accident case. Of course, the adjuster will never come right out and accuse you of insurance fraud, but they will question things like:

Why did you go to a chiropractor instead of a “real doctor?”
Why did you wait a week before seeing a physician?
If you were hurt, why didn’t you go to the emergency room?
Why did you need 12 weeks of treatment when the injuries are “supposed” to resolve in only 6?
This type of adjuster actually makes your life a little bit easier. Maybe you were sitting there wondering whether you even needed to hire a Virginia personal injury lawyer. This adjuster makes the decision simple: if you want a fair settlement value, you’ll need a lawyer who is willing to take your case all the way to trial to get the results that you want.
While every case is different, our office has had some success at trial even in very minor property damage cases. If you’re dealing with an insurance adjuster who won’t leave you alone and who won’t make you a decent offer, call the Law Offices of David L. Marks at (703) 385-1100.

How Does Allstate Determine Virginia Car Accident Case Value?

The very first thing to know about negotiating a personal injury settlement against Allstate is that they are notoriously stingy. Allstate has made a reputation amongst the personal injury bar for forcing cases to go to trial. Remember that this is the insurance company that the book From Good Hands to Boxing Gloves was written about. And that’s not the only time that Allstate has garnered criticism for how their claims office handles cases. They’ve made waves with a Business Week article.In the 1990s, Allstate began using a claims evaluation software named Colossus. The goal of the program is to take the human element out of the claims evaluation process and provide a standardized, uniform method from which adjusters can negotiate your case. In theory, this is a good thing. No one wants a “jackpot justice” claims settlement process where similar injuries are valued disparately by different adjusters. But in practice, Colossus gives adjusters a very rigid framework in which to negotiate.

The software works by considering a number of factors – what sort of injury you have, whether you’ve had prior car crashes, whether you have a permanent injury, what jurisdiction you’re in and what juries typically award for injuries like yours in that locality. However, the program is also tailored to receive inputs like “is your attorney someone who settles early or who takes cases to trial”?

What it fails to consider is the individual lifestyle choices that you make – are you a serious weightlifter who can’t work out anymore? Does your back pain prevent you from comfortably sitting at a desk for long periods of time (as your job may require)? Did the neck sprain prevent you from caring for your two year old child?

And the Allstate claims process doesn’t allow the adjuster much leeway. We’ve had Allstate adjusters tell that even though they thought we’d beat the offer at trial, they can’t go to their supervisor and ask for an increase in authority because Allstate would “rather lose at trial than recognize that they’re system is flawed.”

The bottom line with Allstate is that if you’re looking to get an appropriate settlement from them, you’re probably going to be in for the long haul.

When Do Pedestrians Have The Right Of Way?

Somewhat complicated, but in general, pedestrians have the right-of-way at marked crosswalks. Pedestrians would also have the right-of-way at intersections against cars entering that roadway, but not versus cars already traveling on that roadway.

What is the statute of limitations for a motorcycle accident case in D.C.?


In the District of Columbia, you have three years from the date of your injuries (the day of the motorcycle crash) to either file a lawsuit for injuries sustained or to settle your case. If you fail to do either within the required time period, you will never recover a penny for your injuries. The three year time limit is called a “statute of limitations.”

If you’re thinking about waiting until two years and eleven months after your crash to try to get a lawyer involved, you’re probably making a mistake. It is important to hire a personal injury attorney early in your case so that they can conduct an investigation into the accident, locate potential witnesses, and collect all of your medical bills and records in time to file your claim.

It is the policy in our office not to accept cases that are brought to us only a couple of months before the statute of limitations expires.

Is it safe to settle with the other driver at the scene of a Virginia motorcycle accident?


No. This is actually a very foolish idea. Maybe you got up after being hit and you’re feeling a little rattled, but you don’t think anything’s broken… and you’ve always been a “fast healer,” so you’re happy to just accept a couple hundred in cash from the other driver in exchange for not making a claim against either insurance policy. Seems like a fair trade, right?

But what if you wake up the next morning and you are not able to get out of bed because of the pain in your back? And what if you go to a doctor who tells you that he suspects you have a herniated disc? And what if your health insurance just ran out?

Can you now start to imagine while you ought to at least wait a couple of weeks after the crash to see whether any injuries manifest themselves before deciding to settle the injury claim after a motorcycle accident?

Insurance companies know this trick. That’s why they’ll sometimes send out an adjuster to your house within a few days of the crash to try to hustle you into a lowball settlement. They know that by sending a skilled negotiator out to your house, they can sometimes pressure you into accepting a quick and easy settlement. If you do happen to fall for this trick, Virginia law allows you to rescind your injury settlement, but you must act very quickly.

I dropped my motorcycle helmet on concrete. Do I need to buy another one?


Probably not. Motorcycle helmets are designed for use in one crash and one crash only. But they can generally withstand the force of the impact of a short drop to the floor, especially if they are certified by the Snell Foundation or by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The real damage is done to the insulation material in a helmet when a head is inside the helmet and struck against another object, compressing the material from both sides. Once this is done, you should replace your helmet immediately, as the foam-like substance that protects your head is irreparably damaged.

For more information on motorcycle helmet safety, please see our articles in the motorcycle accident section.


We only take on cases we believe in and think we can win. Let us win for you.

No matter what you are going through, we are here to help. Timing is critical, so contact us as soon as possible to tell us what happened.


Law Offices of David L. Marks
10513 Judicial Drive, Suite 204
Fairfax, VA 22030
703-385-1983 fax

Injured? Find out if you have a case.
Arrested? Learn how you can protect yourself.