Really? You got drunk at a play?
January 4, 2011 11:45 PM   Subscribe

Mrs. thsmchnekllsfascists was involved in a pretty bad wreck this evening. Who pays the bills?

One of my SO's friends was driving and managed to plow through a guard rail. The driver was fine, but the Mrs. was not.

She had a chest x-ray, CAT scan, and an eye exam (she can't see out of her left eye). The Mrs. was a passenger, I can't find out what happened to the driver, but I do know that she was drunk.

At the hospital, they told me that the car insurance company would pay the medical bills. Will that still be the case even though the driver of the car was drunk?
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists to Health & Fitness (20 answers total)
 
The "medical liability" portion of the driver's insurance covers this. A common mistake is that the "bodily injury liability" portion protects the at fault driver's passengers; it does not. Unfortunately, medical liability is not required in all states.

Next in line to pay is the uninsured motorists fund for your state. Last in line is your personal health insurance.

Usually the personal health insurance pays up front and then claims reimbursement from these other sources.

I hope the Mrs. feels better soon and has a speedy recovery.
posted by lockestockbarrel at 11:55 PM on January 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ah, didn't even answer your question. Yes, the insurance pays even if the driver was drunk.
posted by lockestockbarrel at 11:58 PM on January 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I've been in a similar accident. You may want to explore your options with a lawyer; it might be worth it if your wife needs long-term ophthalmic care.

(MeMail me if you want to talk specifics of crash-related eye trauma; I have been to there, I know that there is vast and shitty. I do not, offhand, know of a rockstar ophtho where you are, but I bet I could find one if it comes to that.)
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 12:01 AM on January 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ah, didn't even answer your question. Yes, the insurance pays even if the driver was drunk.

Honestly, that's all I really needed tonight. I'm going to call all the PD stations tomorrow to find her friend (the driver), and call up her car insurance folks. I wouldn't be able to sleep if I knew we were going to end up being liable to pay for all of this shit.

I hope the Mrs. feels better soon and has a speedy recovery.

Eh she will. She's never had an injury of this magnitude before, so I assume she's going to stay in bed for 3-4 days and then be a champ about it.

I've been in a similar accident. You may want to explore your options with a lawyer; it might be worth it if your wife needs long-term ophthalmic care.

She's got a traumatic hyphema in her left eye? The opthamologist on call said it should clear up pretty quickly.

Thanks again askme. I'm going to be able to go and sleep now.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 12:08 AM on January 5, 2011


Adding on to lockestockbarrel's comment, which is right; if the driver does not have medical liability, or does not have enough medical liability to cover all of your Mrs.' bills, but she has uninsured motorists coverage on her insurance, she may be able to make a claim against her own insurance for undercoverage, and they would cover the remaining costs.
posted by Arbac at 12:13 AM on January 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Adding on to lockestockbarrel's comment, which is right; if the driver does not have medical liability, or does not have enough medical liability to cover all of your Mrs.' bills, but she has uninsured motorists coverage on her insurance, she may be able to make a claim against her own insurance for undercoverage, and they would cover the remaining costs.

What exactly does uninsured motorists coverage do? It was a 1 car accident, and I'm positive that the driver had insurance. Is it like a catch-all for liabilities not covered by the rest of the plan? If so, how common is it/is it legally required in New York State?
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 12:18 AM on January 5, 2011


I managed to get hyphemae in both chambers and dislodge my lens-- I'm advanced, what can I say. A fairly uncomplicated hyphema means a lot of bed rest and sleeping almost sitting up. The docs will not let her near a blood thinner of any sort for a while as she recovers, just so she coagulates nicely and doesn't rebleed.

ISTR it took about six hours for me to start getting vision back the day of the accident; it wasn't great when it did, but my case was unusual. Your SO will likely find her vision comes back better than mine did, and I'm sure she'll appreciate rest and your presence at bedside.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 12:21 AM on January 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I managed to get hyphemae in both chambers and dislodge my lens-- I'm advanced, what can I say. A fairly uncomplicated hyphema means a lot of bed rest and sleeping almost sitting up. The docs will not let her near a blood thinner of any sort for a while as she recovers, just so she coagulates nicely and doesn't rebleed.

That's pretty much what they told me. She's on Atropine, a steroid drop, 500mg/5mg vicodin tablets (for the concussion), 600 mg of Ibruprofen every 5-8 hours. Does that sound standard?
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 12:29 AM on January 5, 2011


600 mg of Ibruprofen every 5-8 hours.

I don't have any experience with this particular type of injury, but I do have experience with being prescribed ibuprofen when I shouldn't actually have been on it due to worries about bleeding -- which I only bring up because fairytale of los angeles notes above that she was told to avoid blood thinners while she recovered from the same injury, and ibuprofen is indeed a blood thinner. You might want to double-check with the doctors that ibuprofen is not contraindicated in her case.

Also, even if they OK ibuprofen, it can cause stomach upset in high doses, so she may just want to be aware of that.

posted by scody at 1:03 AM on January 5, 2011


avoid blood thinners ...Also, even if they OK ibuprofen, it can cause stomach upset in high doses, so she may just want to be aware of that.

Yeah, I know, I used to use it pretty regularly. I'll ask the other opthamologist tomorrow during her follow-up though. She's got some heavy-duty pain all over her body, and I'd hate for her not to be able to get some anti-inflammatory meds for her face (which got beat to shit by the airbag).

I'll tell her not to take any until we can get a second opinion. The 500/5 vicodin that she's on worries me though. A nurse wrote the scrip, but I'm pretty sure Acetaminophen is a blood-thinner too. Advice?
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 1:08 AM on January 5, 2011


it's has platelet inhibiting effects, mild ones, so is not a blood thinner. Acetominofen would be better if she tolerates it, but it shoud not cause any real problems.
posted by Wilder at 1:45 AM on January 5, 2011


No acetominofen is not a blood thinner. (channelling the pain specialist in bed next to me trying to sleep after a night on call ;)
500 paracetomol/5 of oxycodone is unusual with concussion. In the UK you don't tend to prescribe any narcotics with concussion.
acetominophen/ibuprofen would be the combo of choice, see the detailed discussion in this thread
http://ask.metafilter.com/77784/Inflammatory-question#1155907
posted by Wilder at 1:52 AM on January 5, 2011


to clarify, my first response refers to ibruprofen. In my second if by 500/5 vocodin you actually mean 500 of acetominofen( we call paracetomol) and 5 of a narcotic drug don't.
do you have plain acetominofen at home?
posted by Wilder at 1:55 AM on January 5, 2011


I was hit by a car as a pedestrian and my auto insurance still paid the bills ASAP (and said that they'd figure out who was really responsible for them later and shake-down appropriately. Which turned out to be my insurance, i.e. them, so - fine.) I hope the missus feels better pronto and that you both sleep okay.
posted by gingerest at 3:10 AM on January 5, 2011


Do not sign anything that is provided to you by the insurance company. They are not looking out for your interests. They are looking out for their bottom line. They will be looking for ways to claim that any injuries sustained by your wife are not really related to the accident. As soon as she is up to it go talk to a personal injury attorney. They work on contingency, so it won't cost you anything. They can help make sure that the insurance company doesn't screw you, and make sure your wife is properly compensated for pain and suffering.
posted by COD at 6:16 AM on January 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Report it to your insurance company now just in case they have to get involved. If they do end up paying, they'll get reimbursed from the driver's insurance and your bills won't go up or anything. But it's important that they're aware of what happened. It wasn't your fault and they're there to help you.
posted by leesh at 6:54 AM on January 5, 2011


My old ophtho said no NSAIDs, no aspirin, no alcohol in my specific case-- also no serious coughing, straining, or, uh, involved bowel movements. It's a very good idea to check with the specialist.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 8:06 AM on January 5, 2011


I just stopped in to give my standard advice in these cases, which is to get a lawyer. If your wife needs lots of physical therapy or other medical help, it's almost inevitable that the insurance company will stop paying at some point and try to claim that it's not medically necessary. Having a lawyer in hand makes that part of the process much easier. My boyfriend's been in two nasty accidents over the years, and having a (good) lawyer really helps.
posted by cabingirl at 8:30 AM on January 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thank you so much for all the help. I'm going to mark this resolved. You guys are the best.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 11:02 AM on January 5, 2011


Quick update:

She just got done talking to the insurance company. They're paying for everything, including some sort of "inconvenience fee" alongside lost wages.

Thanks again everybody.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 12:20 PM on January 7, 2011


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