Who pays for my medical bills after an accident?

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Worried and desperate woman asking for help in paying off debts and loan calculating bills tax expenses and accounting home finances sitting on couch in Domestic bills and Financial problems concept.
Worried and desperate woman asking for help in paying off debts and loan calculating bills tax expenses and accounting home finances sitting on couch in Domestic bills and Financial problems concept. Source: Depositphotos

Being in an accident is tough, particularly if you have suffered injuries. You find yourself dealing with your pain and looking for the best treatment options to regain your health quickly and thoroughly. In the middle of all these medical appointments, treatments, and therapies, you have to face the growing mountain of medical bills. You cannot help but wonder how you will be able to afford them or who will end up paying for them. If this is your case, personal injury lawyer Jesse Minc wants to remind you that the other driver or their insurance usually pays for your medical bills. Let’s see how that works.

Will the other party cover your bills right away?

In general, you should assume that the other party or their insurance will not cover your medical bills the moment you receive them. They will not pay your doctor’s bills directly, and neither will they reimburse you after each visit. What’s more, your medical treatment may be lengthy, and reaching a settlement with the other party’s insurance may take months or even years.

This presents a problem for the injured party since hospitals and doctors expect to be paid immediately after providing their services. Not paying may result in you being sent to collections. Don’t wait until you reach this unpleasant ending, and work with a personal injury lawyer who can help you negotiate with insurance companies and fight for your rights.

Doesn’t the party at fault have to pay my bills as I receive them?

Sadly, the law does not require that the party who injured you pay your medical bills on an ongoing basis. The law indicates that the party found to be at fault must pay you for your losses, medical bills being a major part of those. However, it is never expected that they should pay every bill as it originated.

How can medical bills get paid after an accident?

There are several ways in which your medical bills could be paid after you have been in an accident, depending on the laws in your state and your particular situation.

Getting Bills Paid by Your Health Insurance

In almost every case, your health insurance will be billed as a first option. Regardless of whether you are on Medicare, Medicaid, or have a policy from the insurance marketplace, they will be billed first for the medical bills related to your accident. Your insurance company will later expect to be reimbursed once you have received a settlement payout from the party at fault for your injuries.

This may represent a financial strain for you, especially at a time when you have likely been unable to go to work since you have had to deal with your injuries. You will have to pay any deductibles or copays that are determined by your health insurance which is why it is crucial that you keep a detailed log of all doctor’s visits, medical expenses, prescriptions, and any other costs associated with your care. This way, your lawyer will be able to come up with an exact amount of damages to include in your claim.

Paying Bills Out-Of-Pocket

Should you find yourself in a position of not having health insurance at a time when you are injured in an accident, it will be up to you to cover all medical expenses out of your own pocket. Eventually, you will be reimbursed by the insurance company of the party found to be at fault up to the limit of the policy. In this case, it is equally as important to be meticulous with a log of all of your expenses, as in the case above. This is the way you will know how much the insurance company will have to pay you.

Will a personal injury attorney help?

In many cases, victims who have suffered injuries may benefit from the help of a personal injury lawyer. This is particularly true when there are significant medical bills or when the insurance company responsible for these expenses does not seem to be acting in good faith. Your lawyer may help you negotiate with the insurance and put a figure to your damages when you have to file a legal claim. Make sure to do your research to find the right lawyer to help you fight for your rights and for the compensation you deserve to cover your medical expenses.

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While at times contributed by guest authors, our content is medically reviewed periodically by professionals for accuracy and relevance. We pride ourselves on our high-quality content and strive towards offering expertise while being authoritative. Our reviewers include doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, and even medical students. 

Do note that any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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