How Can You Pay Your Medical Bills While Your California Accident Claim Is Being Settled?

woman with hand covering face stressed with bill in hand

You are legally responsible for your medical bills, and your doctor and other healthcare providers do not have to wait until your claim with the insurance company is resolved to be paid. If you do not pay your bills, our Orange County car accident attorney cautions you about how they could be turned over to a collection agency or you may be sued. Both options will hurt your credit, and you could face other legal consequences—such as having a judgment against you and garnishment of your wages.

How do you pay your medical bills until you receive your settlement proceeds? Here are some options you may have:

  • Health insurance. If you have health insurance, this should be the main source of payment for your medical treatments. Be certain to provide the hospital and your doctor with your insurance company information. They may try to say that they cannot bill your health insurance company due to your accident. However, this is not true, and you should insist that they send your bills to your health insurance company.
  • Med-pay. If you purchased med-pay coverage as part of your automobile insurance policy, you can file a claim to have your medical bills paid through this coverage. It will pay 100 percent of your medical bills up to the policy limits regardless of who was at fault in causing the accident. If you do not have this coverage, you may be able to purchase it to pay for future medical expenses.
  • Medi-Cal or Medi-Care. If you qualify for Medi-Cal or Medi-Care—which has strict income and asset requirements—this insurance could pay for your medical care. However, some doctors in California do not accept Medi-Cal or Medi-Care payments.
  • Lien. Some doctors will continue to treat you and take a lien against the settlement of your claim. They would receive a payment from your settlement proceeds for the amount that you owe before you receive any money.
If you have no health insurance and none of the other options are possible, you will need to make other arrangements to pay your medical bills. It is important to keep in contact with the billing department of your doctor and the hospital to keep them updated on the status of your claim. An experienced auto wreck lawyer can contact your medical providers for you and arrange for a lien, a lump sum settlement, or a small payment plan until he can resolve your case.

Are you having problems paying your medical bills following an accident? Do you need to file a claim for compensation with the negligent driver’s insurance company? Our experienced accident attorneys are here to explain your legal options, help you handle paying your medical bills, and negotiate your settlement with the insurance company for you. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation.

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Case C. Barnett
Costa Mesa Personal Injury Attorney practicing in child injury law, car accident injuries and elder abuse law