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Who Pays for Ambulance Services in Your Personal Injury Case?

Who Pays for Ambulance Services in Your Personal Injury Case?

Accidents are inevitable and can be catastrophic. It can be agonizing and financially devastating if you or a loved one is a victim. Typically, the paramedics will be there to ensure timely medical intervention is achieved. 

Yet after an ambulance or emergency helicopter ride to the hospital, you’ll wonder who will cover the costs. It’s imperative that you work with a California personal injury lawyer who will guide you through your personal injury case and help you navigate the complex legal system. 

Paying Ambulatory Rides and Other Medical Bills

After an accident in which you sustained personal injuries, you only want to think about your life and chances of survival. You want to get out of that nightmare in one piece. So it can be even more distressing if you have to worry about the hefty medical expenses you will incur, including the ambulance ride. 

That probably explains why 25% of Americans have delayed medical intervention for serious accident-related injuries and illnesses. This is largely attributed to the cost of care, according to a recent Gallup Poll. 

The Kaiser Family Foundation also confirmed these statistics, as a recent report shows that about 100 million Americans have unpaid medical expenses. It further explains why most victims of auto accidents might refuse ambulance rides to avoid high medical bills.

Fortunately, California is an at-fault state, meaning ambulance services, air rides, and associated medical bills should be covered largely by the person responsible for an injured party’s accident and injuries.

If a person was involved in an auto accident due to another party’s negligence, the negligent party should cover all the reasonable medical expenses arising from the crash. They’re also responsible for reasonable vehicle and property damages and should also compensate for pain and suffering under the circumstances. 

However, before anyone can collect adequate compensation for their injuries and medical bills accrued, they will probably need to work with a skilled California personal injury lawyer who is better placed to navigate the legal system and ensure a fair outcome. 

If the negligence of another party caused your accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the following medical expenses:

  • Ambulatory transport, including helicopter rides for emergencies
  • Emergency room visits
  • Lab tests
  • Surgeries
  • In-patient hospital stays
  • Medical supplies
  • Medications
  • Chiropractic care
  • Physical therapy
  • Ongoing doctor appointments
  • Future medical treatments
  • Follow-up care
  • Rehabilitation

Catering to Medical Bills in California Personal Injury Cases 

Initially, when the accident first occurs and a person is rushed to the hospital, they will be responsible for the medical bills. 

If you have health insurance, the company might pay initially. If a person is not insured, they will probably receive the bills and might have to make out-of-pocket payments. This includes the cost of expensive emergency transportation such as ambulance and air rides. 

It’s important to note that Medicaid and Medicare can only cater to non-emergency ambulance services, and even so, the most people can probably expect is ¼ of the total amount.

Again, the at-fault party and their insurance companies are likely not yet legally required to make ongoing payments in rolling claims. 

With a competent attorney, an injured person can try to obtain a fair settlement without the need to file a lawsuit or sit through a trial. But if the attorney can prove third-party liability, the third party and their insurance providers could have to pay for all the reasonable damages and pain and suffering from the crash and its aftermath.

Furthermore, California is one of the states that do not require drivers to have personal injury protection insurance (PIP). Being in an at-fault state, compensation is typically paid in full by the negligent party and their insurer, not from PIP coverage. 

Before receiving reimbursement, however, an injured person might pay for emergency medical expenses through different means, such as: 


Covers helicopter/ambulance services and associated medical bills, including funeral expenses in case of death.

Health Savings

Some folks can clear urgent medical bills from their healthcare savings. Some employers might also chip in by contributing to a health savings account.

Medical Liens

If the cost of emergency medical care outweighs the amount a person has in a health savings account, the hospital might pause the clearance of your medical bills until a settlement is reached from a personal injury claim. This is called a medical lien. 

An ambulance service provider can also have a right to a medical lien, allowing an injured party to pay for the pending ambulatory rides after a settlement is reached.

Once a person signs a hospital or medical lien, they might continue receiving medical care until a personal injury claim is complete and compensation awarded. The hospital and ambulance service provider will generally collect all the amount owed from settlement funds. Out-of-pocket Costs

Unfortunately, there are situations where you may need to pay for ambulance services out-of-pocket. This could be due to having limited or no insurance coverage. In such cases, people who receive the services must negotiate with the ambulance service provider to discuss affordable payment options and potential discounts.

Unfortunately, medical treatment providers could also put folks into collections.  A competent attorney should be able to advise on the best course of action under the circumstances.

Collecting Ambulance Bills and Other Damages 

Knowing who pays for your ambulance expenses can be confusing and worrying when faced with a personal injury case. The responsibility of settling all the expenses depends on how reliable your health insurance coverage is, at-fault liability considerations, and the circumstances surrounding the accident. 

You must understand your rights, insurance policies, and available options for pursuing compensation. Most importantly, working with a dedicated attorney will help empower an injured party to navigate the complexities of ambulance service payments, ensuring access to the care and support necessary to get their health and life back on track. 

But above all else, timely medical intervention is crucial in a personal injury case, and ambulance or helicopter services are essential in achieving that. 

People injured in California must take specific actions that will ensure a strong case to obtain the compensation they deserve. We recommend that people follow these steps to the letter:

  • Seek immediate medical attention: Getting an immediate health response is non-negotiable. Your health and life should come first; else, your injuries can be catastrophic if not treated. Catastrophic injuries can result in permanent disability, dismemberment, severe incapacitation, and even death. Ensure you receive all reasonable and appropriate emergency health attention, even if it means having a helicopter ambulance fly you to the hospital.
  • Document the incident: You’ll need details of the accident to help investigate your claim. Ensure you document as much information as possible. 
  • Inform your insurer: Initially, you’ll probably be responsible for all the bills associated with the accident, evenas you pursue your claim. Your insurance provider should be notified as early as possible. 
  • Talk to an attorney: A team of legal professionals will help to ensure a fight for a successful claim and reasonable compensation. Talk to a California personal injury lawyer before you engage the at-fault party’s insurance providers. 

Connect with a California Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one is an accident victim, you do everything possible to solve the situation. Working with a competent attorney is advisable to ensure you obtain justice and the compensation you deserve for financial losses and pain and suffering you’ll be subjected to. 

Our attorneys at Law Office of Joseph Richards, P.C. will analyze the facts of your potential case as part of a free consultation and advise you if there is an option for a way forward. We have the experience and resources to handle claims to the end and obtain a reasonable result. Connect with our California personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation by filling out our online form to schedule a meeting.