Who Pays My Medical Bills in a Car Wreck?
One of the most stressful aspects of being injured in a car crash is navigating how medical bills will be paid. Getting medical bills paid is almost always the number one concern of accident victims. Even if you have health insurance, hospitals and doctors will often refuse to submit your bills to your insurance company. This leads to not only stress from having unpaid bills for months and sometimes even years, but having those unpaid bills can also hurt your credit rating. One of the most important things an experienced attorney can do for you is help you navigate the process of getting your bills paid.
Ultimately, the insurance company of the person who injured you will be responsible to pay your medical bills that are related to your car crash. Unfortunately, they don’t have to pay your bills as they come in. Those bills will be paid either through a settlement, or a verdict rendered by a jury. This puts injured people in limbo while the case is litigated. Fortunately, there are other options to get those bills paid before a final resolution to the case.
Many car insurance policies have what is called medical payments coverage. Medical payments coverage pays for medical care that is necessary because of car crashes. This coverage is considered “no fault”, which means it doesn’t matter who caused the crash. It is also paid out as bills are received, which means the bills can be paid before a settlement or jury verdict. The amount of coverage on policies typically ranges from $1,000 to $50,000, so it is important to check your policy.
Another option is to submit your bills to health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid. It is important to push doctors and hospitals to bill your insurance, because often they prefer to assert a “lien” and be paid later out of a settlement. Unfortunately, this leaves accident victims with large bills outstanding, which can be a huge source of stress. Experienced personal injury attorneys can help put pressure on doctors and hospitals to bill your health insurance.
Doctors and hospitals often elect to assert a lien on your case. When a medical provider asserts a lien, they are foregoing immediate payment in order to be paid out of your settlement or verdict at a later date. This option isn’t great for people with health insurance. For people without significant medical payments coverage or health insurance, this is often the only way for accident victims to get the medical care they need.
Another important step in the process is making sure everyone is paid when your case is settled or the jury returns a verdict in your favor. When health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid pay a bill, they have to be paid back a portion of what they paid at the conclusion of your case. Likewise, when a doctor or hospital has a lien, they have a legal right to be paid back. An attorney can be vital in these cases because a qualified injury attorney will know how to negotiate with medical providers and health insurance companies which can increase your recovery significantly.
The attorneys at Sam C. Mitchell and Associates help injured people navigate dealing with medical bills every day. Contact our office for a free consultation to see if we can help.