If you were injured in a car accident, one of the most important first steps is to seek immediate medical care. Medical treatment for any injury can be expensive—leaving you with a stack of mounting medical bills to deal with. Unfortunately, the insurance company for the negligent driver will most likely not pay your ongoing medical bills while it is investigating and disputing your claim. Here, we discuss how to handle paying your medical bills while you are attempting to settle your claim.
How Can You Pay Your Medical Bills While Your Accident Claim Is Being Settled?
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, 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.
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.