Who Pays For The Medical Bills After A Car Accident?

Being involved in a car accident can result in severe injuries that can lead to a massive financial burden for all parties involved in the collision. Both sides are likely to be concerned about “who will pay for my medical bills?” This question does not always have a consistent explanation. The state in which you live is an essential consideration. Every state in the United States has its own set of rules and regulations. In most areas, the at-fault party is legally accountable for covering the accident victims’ medical expenditures. Keep in mind that even if the responsible party must pay for all medical expenses, the process to be reimbursed may take a long time. During this time, it is very likely that the accident victim will have to pay for their medical expenses out of their own pocket. However, there are 12 no-fault states in the United States. In a no-fault state, medical bills will be covered by the “Personal Injury Protection” (PIP) that every motorist should have, regardless of who is at fault. 

How Liability Impacts Medical Treatment

Liability will not impact medical treatment in any way that will make a difference if the person being treated is at-fault or not. Nonetheless, if the person who is at-fault receives medical treatment, they are financially responsible for paying all their medical expenses, unless they are in a no-fault state and their medical bills are covered by the personal injury protection. Normally, at-fault parties that required medical treatment will use their health or auto insurance to pay for their medical expenses. On the other hand, the party who was not responsible for the accident will have to pay for most medical bills out of their own pocket or use their medical payment or “med pay” insurance while they reach a settlement with the other party’s insurer to recover their damages.

What about medical liens or hospital liens?

If the non-responsible party is unable to pay the medical expenses, their attorney may attempt to negotiate with the hospital or doctors to postpone payment until a settlement is achieved. In addition, hospitals may ask the accident victim to sign a lien letter. This letter serves as an agreement between the accident victim and the hospital to ensure that the medical institution is reimbursed after a settlement or verdict is achieved. When the settlement or decision is paid out, the funds are transferred to a trust account. The funds must remain in this trust account until they are cleared. Once the funds are released, all liens, as well as legal and attorney expenses, must be paid. The money remaining in the account will be withdrawn by the attorney sent in a check to the plaintiff. 

What If I Have Health Insurance?

If you have health insurance you may be able to use your coverage to cover for all medical expenses that you have to incur while the settlement process is ongoing. Some people may use their health insurance coverage, med pay insurance, auto insurance if it includes some kind of medical expenses coverage and medicare. It is important to understand that there is primary and secondary coverage. Ask your insurance provider if their coverage classifies as primary or secondary. For instance, in no-fault states, personal injury protection will always be a primary coverage. This means that you cannot use any other coverage unless the primary coverage has been used completely. It is important to understand your policy limits in terms of money and the medical treatments that it covers. If you were at-fault and you still have an outstanding balance even after using all your health insurance coverage you are still required to pay the entirety of your balance. Failing to pay your outstanding balance will cause your case to be sent to collections. 

What If I Don’t Have Health Insurance?

If you do not have medical insurance you will have to pay for all medical expenses out of your own pocket. You can also try to arrange payment plans with your medical institution or hospital to pay your balance in monthly installments. Another option to reduce your medical bills is to ask for a discount and an itemized bill. In many cases people are able to get significant discounts by disputing the price of some things shown in the itemized bill. 

How to Deal With Insurance After an Accident

Dealing with insurance companies can be more difficult than you realize. Insurance companies are for profit, and their goal is to make money. To accomplish so, they will aim to pay as little in settlements as feasible. Insurance companies will try to prove that your injuries are not as severe as they appear, and they will look for anything that can undermine your claim. In some situations, they may even deny coverage if you did not report the automobile accident or did not do so within a certain time frame. As a result, it is critical to report a car accident to your insurance company as quickly as possible. Hiring an attorney can also be very helpful. Most experienced attorneys have dealt with insurance companies on numerous occasions and know how to negotiate with them. 

 Can a Car Accident Attorney Help Me Recover Compensation?

An automobile accident lawyer can undoubtedly assist you in recovering compensation. Attorneys with extensive expertise with vehicle accident claims understand how to deal with insurance companies and will assist you in building a strong case. Car accident attorneys can help you gather evidence to prove that the other party was at-fault. They also know other professionals that can provide an accident reconstruction analysis to assist in your case. Furthermore, they can assist you in negotiating with doctors and hospitals to obtain discounts on medical treatments you received, or they can persuade them to postpone payment until a settlement is achieved. Finally, an attorney will be of considerable assistance in your pursuit for fair compensation for your injuries and other damages that represent a big financial burden.

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