If you get into an accident you will receive compensation from the at-fault driver to cover your medical bills, right?
Most drivers assume that is how things will work, but what they fail to remember is they will not get paid until the end of the claims process, assuming the insurance company decides to pay. Since you will not receive compensation for months or possibly years, the question becomes: how do I pay my medical bills while I am waiting?
At Peter T. Nicholl Law Offices, our Maryland personal injury attorneys work directly with our clients to find ways to pay medical bills and other expenses while they wait for an insurance settlement. Some of your options are described below. For more information on these options or help with your settlement, contact our dedicated legal team for a free consultation today.
One of the first resources that you may be able to turn to for immediate payment of your medical expenses is your own health insurance. Most car insurance companies will not pay your medical bills directly and instead will reimburse you for the expenses you and your health insurance company have paid.
Be sure that you provide the hospital, emergency room or doctor’s office with your insurance information. Some medical providers may state that your health insurance does not pay for these expenses, but this is incorrect. Unless another insurance is considered the primary insurer, such as workers’ compensation or the other driver’s insurance company, your own health insurance may cover the medical expenses. Be sure that you give the medical provider a copy of your insurance card and list it as a backup payment. Provide this information at your first visit.
Insurance settlements take time to process. It may be months or years before you receive the funds from your settlement, so paying with your own health insurance ensures that these payments are made while the case is pending. This can help you avoid the added costs and damage to your credit if you have unpaid medical bills. More importantly, you can receive the medical care you need after being injured by a negligent driver.
If your medical bills exceed the insurance limits, using your own health insurance can ensure that there is another source to pay these expenses so that you do not have to pay out of pocket.
If your claim is ultimately resolved in your favor, you may be required to pay the insurance back as part of the subrogation process. During this process, your insurance company seeks reimbursement from other insurance companies involved in the case. Your medical provider may place a lien on your claim so that it is paid before you receive the remainder of your settlement funds.
If you have Medicare or Medicaid, you may be able to use this form of insurance to receive necessary treatment after an accident. However, you may be required to pay this insurance back if your claim is later resolved through a settlement or jury award.
Med pay or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage provides payment for medical expenses after an accident, regardless of who was at fault. If you have PIP coverage, you can file a claim under your own policy up to your policy limits.
In some circumstances, you may be able to negotiate with the hospital for a reduced rate for services or get on a payment plan while you wait for your case to settle.
If you have exhausted other forms of payment, you may sign an authorization and assignment with the medical provider, which is a contract between the healthcare provider, you and your attorney that states that you agree to pay for the medical expenses out of a settlement or award that you may receive in your personal injury case. This contract will require you or your attorney to first pay the medical provider before you receive your settlement funds.
At Peter T. Nicholl Law Offices, we understand how difficult it is to cover these costs while waiting on a settlement. We will work on your behalf to explore all of your options to ease the financial burden caused by a negligent driver. Do not hesitate to contact our compassionate team for a free consultation. We do not receive payment unless we successfully obtain fair compensation from your case.
Contact us to learn more about your options.