It’s common knowledge that if you get into an accident you should receive compensation for any medical bills from the at-fault driver. However, you won’t get your money until the end of the case process, and that’s assuming that the insurance company decides to pay at all. If your injury from the accident has caused the inability to work and a loss of wages, it even further complicates the process for the victim. The question becomes: How can I pay my medical bills while I’m waiting?
“The first thing a client should do after receiving needed treatment is provide their health care provider with information related to hospital, emergency room and/or doctors’ office visits. That’s if the client has health insurance,” Brad Parker says. “Some doctors will work with patients with the understanding that they will get paid once there is a recovery.”
Most insurance companies won’t pay your medical bills directly but will instead reimburse you for the expenses you and your health insurance company have covered.
A personal injury attorney must not only be an expert in the law, but also have expertise in insurance.
“Nearly every client I meet with is confused about their insurance coverage. It can be incredibly complicated. I work to try and explain the different types of coverage on our website through videos, blogs, brochures and social media. It’s not something to be embarrassed about if you don’t understand. I’ve even spoken to some insurance agents that don’t understand,” Brad says.
Brad strongly suggests that everyone carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. It ensures that medical expenses are paid 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.
Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney will help with any negotiations between the injured client and medical care providers. In some cases, an attorney can get a reduced rate for services or get the client on a payment plan while you are waiting for a verdict or settlement.
In circumstances where all methods have been exhausted, a client may be able to sign an authorization and assignment with the treatment facility. This acts as a contract between a client, their attorney and the healthcare provider and states that you must first pay back the provider before you ever receive your settlement money.
“Following an accident, it’s critical that you keep track of all of your medical expenses. Of course we can help track down major medical bills from your provider, but there will be many out-of-pocket expenses that you don’t necessarily think about,” Brad says.
While clients may remember to keep receipts and bills for surgeries, emergency room or doctor visits, other costs associated with a recovery after a car wreck must also be tracked. These forgotten expenses can include prescription or over-the-counter medicines, ambulance rides, travel costs, physical therapy or in-home modifications and possibly treatment for any mental trauma caused by the accident.