How Medical Bills Are Paid After Car Accident
Those who have been injured in a car accident caused by another driver's negligent driving may wonder who is liable for their medical bills. Many victims intend to file a personal injury claim after such an incident has occurred. However, the truth is that personal injury claims can take a long time to settle, and the onus is often on the injured party to take care of their medical bills.
There are several options, including health insurance, that can help you pay your medical bills. Contact a personal injury lawyer from The Keating Firm LTD as soon as possible for a free consultation if you have been in a car accident and sustained injuries. We can help you with your personal injury claim.
Who Covers the Medical Expenses After a Car Accident?
Each wounded person is responsible for the payment of their medical expenditures following an auto accident that resulted in injuries. Many crash victims have health insurance to help cover their medical expenses. The degree and type of coverage determine how the costs are paid.
Unfortunately, even when it is apparent that the other driver caused the accident, the victim must still cover their medical bills. After the negligent motorist has been held responsible for the incident, they compensate the victim for these medical expenses. This occurs if the other driver, or their insurance company, settles a car accident claim or if a jury determines that their negligent behavior led to the crash if the case goes to trial.
However, this process can take months and even several years after the accident, while medical expenditures mount, which can cause victims to take the financial strain. Additionally, the loss of income that may result from being injured and unable to work adds to the strain.
The good news is that if a victim has health insurance, it can help to take care of some, if not all, of these medical bills. An experienced Nashville car accident attorney from The Keating Firm LTD can assist victims and their families to comprehend this complex area of the law.
How Health Insurance Can Help
If the injured person has their own health insurance, their medical expenses are covered by the health insurance company. Depending on the type of coverage, some limitations may apply.
Victims can file a claim for their expenses with their private health insurance company when they receive their medical bills from the hospital or medical providers. An insurer can reject the claim if a particular service or expense is not covered under the terms of the policy, in which case the victim is responsible for paying these expenses.
Why a Health Insurance Company May Reject a Claim
It is important to remember that even health insurance providers are businesses that operate in a way that generates a profit. Sometimes, they reject claims in bad faith to prevent having to pay hefty bills for medical treatment.
Therefore, it is essential to enlist the help of an experienced car accident attorney who has experience dealing with insurance companies. Attorneys can help victims determine whether their claims have been rejected legitimately or in acts of bad faith, in which case the attorney can hold the insurance company liable for paying the medical bills.
Medical Payment Car Insurance or Med-pay
Some motorists opt to include medical payment insurance (commonly known as med pay) in their auto insurance plans, which cover personal injury protection. Subject to the limitations of the policy, this type of insurance covers medical expenditures incurred as a result of car crashes. In most cases, there is no deductible or amount that the victim must pay out-of-pocket.
However, if the maximum amount is stipulated on the insurance policy, the victim is responsible for his or her medical bills. If the victim has additional health insurance, the remainder of the expenses is covered by the health insurance company.
What Happens If a Victim Has No Insurance Coverage?
Unfortunately, if a victim does not have any medical payment car insurance, or health insurance coverage, they are liable for their medical bills. These bills must be paid in cash, but many hospitals and health care providers allow victims to make payment arrangements where they agree to pay a certain amount every month over a certain period until the debt has been paid.
Victims who find themselves in this position can benefit from approaching an attorney to begin the process of filing a claim to receive compensation for their damages and to repair their car as soon as possible. Therefore, their debt can be paid off when a settlement has been reached.
Hospital or Medical Liens
In return for a lien or claim on the final, personal injury settlement amount, most jurisdictions enable healthcare facilities or insurance companies to cover a crash victim's medical expenditures. This is often done when hospitals notice that a car accident victim does not appear to have insurance to cover their medical costs.
Therefore, they sign a lien to ensure they receive their payment once a victim obtains compensation from their personal injury claim. This can be extremely helpful to injured parties who do not have the financial means to pay out-of-pocket medical care.
No-Fault Versus Non-no-fault States
Some states are at-fault states, while others are no-fault states, while others are non-no-fault states, and the laws on who pays for medical bills can differ based on where car accidents occur in the United States.
Victims who are hurt in a car crash can determine whether their medical costs are paid quickly based on whether the car accident occurred in a "no-fault" state. Having no-fault auto insurance indicates that, irrespective of who caused the crash, their own auto insurance company covers the medical bills, subject to the terms of the no-fault auto insurance policy.
If a victim's bills surpass the state's limitations, they are held responsible for the balance of the payment or may claim from their health insurance or med-pay car insurance.
Those involved in car accidents in states in which no-fault insurance is not available are liable for their own medical costs. However, in these states, drivers with med-pay car insurance can claim for their expenses subject to the policy's limitations, and their health insurance co-pays to cover the cost of the medical treatment.
What Happens After a Settlement Is Paid in a Car Crash Case?
Once the case has been settled, either inside or outside of court, and the other driver has been found to be the at-fault driver; the victim receives compensation for their damages. This amount includes the cost of medical treatment. If an insurance company has covered the bills for a victim's medical care following an auto accident, they are liable for reimbursement once this settlement has been paid.
Alternatively, if any hospitals, car insurance companies, or other entities hold liens against the settlement amount, they are liable for payment once this settlement is received.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Car accidents happen out of the blue, and the truth is that no one can be adequately prepared to handle the aftermath. This is why hiring a personal injury lawyer is an essential step in dealing with issues such as the payment of medical bills.
Lawyers don't just offer legal advice, but also help victims deal with their difficult insurance companies who refuse to make payments in good faith.
Keep Track of Claims
An attorney can also help victims stay on track of the claims process and avoid missing any deadlines, so claims are submitted, and payment is made as quickly as possible, while victims concentrate on recovery and keeping themselves afloat financially following their injuries.
Because personal injury cases can take years to settle and victims often have a lot to take care of following an auto accident, including dealing with their employers to discuss time off work, the details of their own auto insurance policy claims can be lost or forgotten.
This is where legal help can come in handy, as lawyers keep records of all claims and dealings with insurance companies, so victims don't have to.
Victims Have Someone to Rely On
Having a reliable helping hand can also make victims feel a lot better, knowing that they have someone trustworthy to depend on, which can make a world of difference when going through a tough time.
Need a Reliable Attorney? Contact The Keating Firm LTD Today!
Our legal teams are well equipped to deal with tricky situations that arise after a car crash. We help victims file claims and lawsuits against negligent drivers and provide support to injured victims who need to have their medical bills paid. We have experience dealing with the aftermath of car crashes, so victims can rely on us to provide the legal support they need in getting their medical bills paid on time.
At The Keating Firm LTD, we pride ourselves on maintaining an excellent attorney-client relationship with all our clients because we know how difficult dealing with personal injuries can be. Contact us today for a free consultation, so we can provide the assistance that is needed following a personal injury.