Following a car crash, your life can feel like it has been turned upside down. Not only are you dealing with catastrophic injuries and extensive pain, but due to the medical treatments involved after these tragic accidents, the financial expenses can be astronomical. That is why it is no surprise that many car accident victims feel stressed and overwhelmed about their situation and worry about how they will deal with these medical bills.
Yet, while the answer to these concerns will depend on numerous factors, in the below post, we hope to ease some of these worries by providing you with information regarding how you can pay for medical care after a motor vehicle accident.
Who Pays for Medical Care After a Motor Vehicle Accident?
If you suffered harm in a car crash and obtained medical treatment, you will begin to rack up the medical bills. You will likely also have to deal with ongoing expenses related to this medical care, including prescription medications, therapy, and rehabilitation.
Unfortunately, before you can file an insurance claim or take legal action against the wrongful party to secure the money needed to cover these bills, you first need to use other avenues to pay these expenses.
As a result, there are typically three ways to get your medical expenses paid after an accident.
- Health insurance
- Automobile insurance
- File a personal injury claim
Your Health Insurance
After a car accident, you should not delay getting the medical help you need. Even if your injuries appear minor, you still want a healthcare professional to examine your whole body and ensure you get the necessary treatment. Many times, severe trauma can take some time to manifest, including spinal cord injuries and internal bleeding.
Yet, to pay for this treatment, you will likely be asked by the staff at the healthcare facility if you have any healthcare insurance. If you do, your insurance will cover these medical costs minus the deductible. However, if you can show that someone else was responsible for the accident that caused your injuries, the healthcare insurance provider will likely try to go after the at-fault driver’s insurance for the costs they paid for your medical treatments.
In addition, depending on the situation, the medical care provider may agree to delay collecting payment for their services if a law firm notifies them that they are pursuing a claim on your behalf. These lawyers can also negotiate your medical bills down and set up a payment structure when it is time to pay these expenses.
Another way to get your medical bills paid following a car crash is through automobile insurance. For instance, if you suffered harm following a motor vehicle collision in an at-fault state, the at-fault party will need to pay your medical bills through their automobile insurance coverage.
However, if the liable driver does not have car insurance, or you cannot locate the driver that hit you because they drove off after the accident, you may need to reach out to your own uninsured driver auto insurance coverage if your policy has this optional coverage.
Pursuing Legal Action Against the Wrongful Party
Finally, the last way you can get your medical bills paid is to pursue a lawsuit against the wrongful party that caused your car crash and go after all the financial damages you need, including money for the medical expenses you endured.
At the start of this lawsuit, your lawyer can also send a letter of protection to your medical care providers explaining that your medical bills will be taken care of with a future settlement. This can help ensure you get the medical care you require without worrying about how you will pay for these treatments.
The Bottom Line
Do not forego the medical treatments you need after a motor vehicle accident because you are worried about your medical bills. Instead, contact an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer as soon as possible. These legal professionals can go over the situation with you in detail, ensure you obtain the medical care you need, and help you avoid the financial burdens of getting this medical assistance.
What Exactly Are Letters of Protection?
A letter of protection is a document sent by your attorney to a healthcare provider guaranteeing that all your medical bills will be covered once your personal injury case is resolved.
Specifically, this document will:
- Let your doctors know that your injuries resulted from another motorist’s negligence.
- Inform them that the other party has not taken responsibility for the incident or provided a fair settlement offer.
- Explain that the law firm is representing you and working on getting the money necessary to cover these medical expenses.
- Ask that the healthcare provider delay billing until the case is resolved and promise that these medical payments will come out of the settlement amount.
- Promise that you will take responsibility for all these medical bills if a settlement cannot be reached.
These letters of protection are essential for two reasons. First, they make sure you get the medical treatment you require, and second, they also protect your credit.
When people cannot pay their medical bills, these bills will ultimately end up in collections, which can hurt a person’s credit score and ultimately prevent them from obtaining a car, purchasing a home, and even renting an apartment. Thankfully, letters of protection can prevent these issues from escalating since the medical bills can be delayed until your legal claim is resolved and you obtain the money needed to cover these expenses.
Watch Out for the Insurance Companies After a Motor Vehicle Accident
Although one way to get your medical bills taken care of following a car crash is to get the at-fault driver’s insurance company to pay, expect this process to be challenging.
In most cases, the other driver’s insurance company will try to do everything they can to reduce the amount of your claim or deny it altogether. This is because the less these insurance companies have to pay you, the more profit they make. As a result, these insurance companies will do everything they can to get you to say something that can hurt your claim or find evidence they can use against you.
In some cases, the automobile insurance company may also use letters of protection to question the extent of your losses or the accuracy of your claim. These companies will try to argue that the medical professionals involved have biases because you owe them money, and these doctors will say anything to help you get paid.
As a result, if you want to ensure that these insurance companies do not prevent you from getting the money you need, consider contacting a knowledgeable car accident attorney as soon as possible. These lawyers can help make sure you do not say anything to these insurance companies that can hurt your claim, and they can also prove that your doctors are not biased because of the letter of protection.
Do Not Accept the First Insurance Settlement Offer You Recieve
Another deceitful tactic the automobile insurance company may try on you is to get you to accept a meager settlement amount following your motor vehicle accident. These insurance companies know that you need money to cover your medical costs following a car crash. That is why they will try to present you with an offer to quickly resolve your case so that you do not go to court or verify with an attorney whether this amount is fair to you.
However, this amount is typically so low that it will barely cover any of your current costs, let alone any ongoing expenses. Unfortunately, if you accept it but later discover that more money is needed, you cannot return to the insurance company and ask for more. Instead, you will be responsible for all of your additional costs.
For these reasons, before you accept any offer from the insurance company, discuss this amount with a knowledgeable car accident attorney. These lawyers can review the proposal, verify whether the amount is fair, and if it is not, go back to the insurance company and fight for the maximum car accident settlement you need.
Figure out the Full Extent of Your Medical Bills
Following a car accident, you will likely have to deal with medical expenses for your:
- Doctor visits
- Tests and labs, such as blood tests, MRIs, scans, and other examinations
- Emergency room stay
- Hospital stay
- Pain management
- In-home care
- Psychological trauma
- Transportation to and from the appointments
- Ongoing treatments and permanent disability
However, to ensure you obtain compensation to cover all your medical bills, you must keep track of all these expenses. Thankfully, when working with an experienced car accident attorney, you will not have to worry about gathering all these documents and paperwork yourself.
These lawyers can consult all your doctors and healthcare facilities and obtain actual costs and estimates regarding the current and future cost of your medical care. They can then create a demand letter and send it to the insurance companies seeking the maximum amount of money for all your expenses.
Other Types of Monetary Damages You May Deserve
Depending on the circumstances of your crash, you may also be entitled to pursue other types of damages following your car accident. These damages generally include:
These damages refer to payment for the tangible losses that result from the accident.
They include things such as medical bills, as well as:
- Loss of past wages, future wages, and wage-earning capacity
- Personal property damages, including replacement and repair costs of your vehicle
- Replacement domestic services
Non-economic damages refer to payment for the personal losses that result from an accident.
These losses include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Physical impairment
- Physical disfigurement
- Loss of reputation
However, consider discussing your situation with a skilled car accident attorney to determine which of these damages may apply to your case. These lawyers can not only figure out which of these monetary damages you can go after, but they can also help you fight for the maximum financial recovery you deserve.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today and Figure Out How to Pay for Your Medical Care After a Car Crash
After a motor vehicle accident, you have enough to worry about. The last thing you need to stress about is how to pay for the medical care you require, especially when the accident was not your fault. Fortunately, with an experienced car accident attorney fighting for your rights, you will not have to take on this complicated ordeal alone.
Instead, when you hire your personal injury attorney, they can:
- Make sure you get the medical care you require
- Delay the medical bills until you obtain the money needed to cover these bills
- Thoroughly go over the facts of your car accident and determine the legal options you can pursue
- Obtain evidence to show what happened and who was at fault for your accident
- Make sure that legal action is taken before the statute of limitations expires
- Bring in experts to substantiate your claim, including accident reconstructionists and financial specialists
- Deal with the insurers and fight for a fair settlement amount
- Take your case in front of a judge and a jury and go after maximum compensation
If you or a family member were injured in a car accident and needed help figuring out your legal options or how to pay your medical bills, contact an experienced car accident attorney today. They can review your case for free and determine the next legal steps you should take.
Since starting his firm in 1999, Stewart J. Guss has had the honor of representing clients from all over the world, helping them recover from even the most catastrophic injuries.
Today, thanks to a strong belief in those values of compassion, respect, and approachability, the firm has grown to employ over 120 legal professionals in numerous offices across 4 states, with nationwide reach.