Paying for Medical Care After a Car AccidentBy Stewart J. Guss on January 1st, 2018
Any type of traumatic injury can require ongoing medical care for some time—and car accident injuries are no different. You may need emergency treatment right after the accident, but during the following weeks, your doctor may suggest follow-up visits, visits to specialists, surgeries, physical therapy, and more. You may also need medications and medical equipment while you recover. With the high costs of health care in the United States, these bills can add up quickly.
First, with the skyrocketing costs of health insurance these days, many people lack adequate healthcare coverage. Even with the requirements and subsidies offered under the Affordable Care Act, reports indicate that 28 million people did not have insurance in 2016. While this number has decreased steadily in recent years, that still leaves millions of people with no protection if they suffer an injury.
And even if you have health insurance, you will still likely face expenses that your insurer expects you to pay out-of-pocket. These can include high deductibles and regular copays for every doctor visit you require—in addition to the (likely high) premiums you pay for coverage in the first place. For this reason, even accident victims with good insurance policies often struggle with how to pay for medical treatments.
In addition, many health insurance companies will refuse to cover treatments for car accident injuries. Instead, the health insurer will expect you to seek compensation from the auto insurance of the driver who caused the accident. Many healthcare providers will not even accept your health insurance after car accident injuries because of the chance the insurer will reject the claims.
Auto insurance companies, however, will not cover your medical bills as they receive them. Instead, they expect you to find a way to pay them yourself and then recoup the costs when—and if—you receive a settlement. Getting an adequate settlement can take months or longer, during which you must find ways to pay your medical bills.
You should not have to forego the medical treatments you need after a car crash because of concerns about how you will pay your medical bills. Instead, call an experienced Houston car accident attorney as soon as possible after an accident. Our attorneys can ensure that you receive the care you need without unnecessary financial strains.
Letters of Protection
Our car accident lawyers have tools to help you obtain medical treatments and not pay any expenses out of pocket. Specifically, we can send a document called a Letter of Protection to your medical providers. This letter will:
- Inform your medical provider that the negligence of another driver caused your injuries
- Explain that as of yet, the auto insurance provider of the negligent driver has not taken responsibility or offered a proper settlement
- Inform the doctor that our firm is representing your rights as an accident victim and working to obtain the settlement you deserve to cover your expenses
- Request that the medical provider delay billing until you resolve your case and promise that payment for all of your bills will come out of the settlement
- Assure them that if you cannot reach a settlement, you will take responsibility to pay the bills.
Letters of protection from an experienced attorney may get you the medical treatments you need. In addition, this type of agreement with your doctor can help protect your credit.
When people face choices between paying costly and unexpected medical bills and paying their mortgages or feeding their families, their choices often seem clear and they ignore the medical bills. Absent communications from your attorney, your doctor can submit the unpaid bills for collection. Derogatory reports on your credit can quickly and significantly lower your score. Damaged credit can keep you from purchasing a home, financing a car, renting an apartment, or even getting a job in some situations. With a letter of protection, we can ask your medical providers to delay submitting any bills to collection and to instead wait to see how you resolve your case.
Defending Your Letter of Protection
In some cases, the auto insurance company will try to use a letter of protection to question the veracity of your claims or the extent of your losses. Insurance companies can try to claim that your doctors are biased because you have outstanding bills with them and they will testify to anything since they want to get paid. Our attorneys can work to demonstrate that your doctor is not biased because of a letter of protection.
Knowing how to get the medical care you need is only one of many major sources of stress after a car accident. You should hold (the auto insurers of) any other party who negligently caused your crash fully liable for all of the losses you face. Our attorneys believe that nobody should ever deny you important treatments for your injuries simply because other parties refuse to take responsibility for their actions. We will fight for your rights to medical care and a favorable settlement every step of the way.
Consult a Houston Car Accident Law Firm for Free Today
A letter of protection is just one of many legal tools that we have to help our clients at the law firm of Stewart J. Guss. We have handled cases involving all types of car accidents and all types of injuries. If you were injured, please do not hesitate to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our attorneys. Call today at 800-898-4877 or contact us online to learn about the many ways we may help you after your accident.