Before you settle or reach another resolution, understand your options for covering the cost of medical treatment soon after an accident.
If you are injured in a car accident that was not your fault, the other driver is responsible for paying your medical bills (usually through his insurance company).
The other driver’s insurance, on the other hand, will not pay your doctors directly or reimburse you after every visit. And, depending on how long your medical treatment takes, reaching a settlement with the other driver’s insurance company could take months or even years.
Meanwhile, most doctors and hospitals want to be paid right away, and if you do not, you can be sent to collections. This is where your insurance comes into play. And an experienced lawyer can help you get facts correct and to know your rights.
Defendant on an Ongoing Basis Does Not Have to Pay For Your Medical Bills
- The most important thing to remember is that you are generally responsible for paying your medical bills as they arise if you are involved in an accident. Car accidents in “no-fault” states (described below) and incidents involving “medical payments” (or “med pay”) insurance coverage are usually the only exceptions.
- Even if the person who injured you was clearly at fault, the law does not require that he or she pay your medical bills on a regular basis. The only requirement of the law is that if the other person is determined to be at fault in court, he or she must pay you for your losses—and in a personal injury case, your medical treatment is a significant part of those damages. However, the defendant is not required to pay your medical bills as they are received.
Car Accidents in “No-Fault” States
- If you are injured in a car accident, whether you get your medical bills paid quickly is often determined by whether the accident occurred in a no-fault state. No-fault car insurance means that, regardless of who was at fault for the accident, your own automobile insurer will pay some or all of your medical bills (sometimes more quickly than in traditional “fault” states), according to the limits of your no-fault coverage.
- You are liable for paying your medical bills once they exceed the state’s no-fault limit. If you have health insurance, your insurer will pay your medical expenditures. In addition, the expenses will be paid if you are on Medicare or a state-run health insurance program such as Medicaid. If you do not have health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid, you will have to work out payment arrangements with your healthcare providers on your own.
Car Accidents in Non-“No-Fault” States
- If you are involved in a car accident in a state where no-fault insurance is offered, you will be responsible for paying your medical bills as they arise. However, some drivers in these states are covered by medical payment insurance (known as “med pay” coverage). Up to the insured’s med pay policy limits, which are often less than $10,000, med pay coverage will pay the medical bills of drivers or passengers involved in a car collision with the insured.
- You will be liable for paying your expenses after they exceed the med pay policy limits. Because med pay coverage is not always needed, you are responsible for paying the bills if neither you nor the person at fault for the accident has it.
Premises Liability (Slip and Fall Accidents)
- Unless the property owner’s liability insurance policy includes “med pay” coverage, the injured person will be liable for paying his or her medical bills in a premises liability or slip and fall lawsuit.
- If the policy includes “med pay,” the insurer will most likely cover the injured person’s medical expenses up to the policy’s “med pay” limits. Following that, the injured person’s responsibility is to pay the bills.
- If you are injured at work and file a workers’ compensation claim, the workers’ compensation insurer will most likely cover all of your medical bills. Typically, you will not be required to pay any bills or deductibles.
- Furthermore, several states require that your workers’ compensation insurer reimburse you for travel expenses (mileage, tolls, and parking) to and from medical appointments.
- Typically, there is no work comp carrier in most car accident cases, but there is PIP or personal injury protection.
- PIP insurance is a type of coverage that comes with your car insurance policy. Every car on the road is required by law to have this coverage. This is the first coverage that pays for medical bills caused by a car accident injury.
The Insurer Is Entitled to Reimbursement
If you receive a personal injury settlement or a favorable court verdict against the defendant, your health insurer, Medicare, or the state agency in charge of administering Medicaid benefits are entitled to reimbursement for the amount they paid your health care providers.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
- As your personal injury attorney and staff represent you as an injured victim, one of the services they will provide is to handle all of your bills and collection matters so you do not have to.
- They are not only there to earn you more money in a settlement or a lawsuit, but they are also there to relieve your worry so that you can focus on getting better by keeping track of your medical expenses and insurance matters.
- Behind the scenes, they are putting in much effort to ensure that the right people are paying your invoices in the correct sequence and that none of them go to collections.
- This is required because you only get a check from the at-fault party or insurance company when the case is closed. However, you will not be able to conclude the matter unless you know how much it is worth. Furthermore, you will not know its worth until the victim has recovered.
- As a result, an injured victim may have to seek treatment for years before the case is completed and a settlement is reached.
- The concern then becomes how the victim will pay those costs and survive during those two years when they are stacking up.
- If you or your family member have been a accident victim, contact Khashan Law Firm today. We have over 10 years of experience. We understand that injured victims and family members are highly distraught and emotional during these times.
- Contact 951.461.2387 to set up a free consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer. We help you get the medical care you deserve and full amount of compensation.