After sustaining injuries from a car accident, it is normal for medical bills to be heavily on the mind. Medical bills can easily climb and, in some cases, may exceed hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars. For example, a severe spinal injury can easily exceed four million dollars. Medical expenses are not cheap, especially when considering non-emergency treatment costs or long-term care such as rehabilitative services. A personal injury attorney is not a doctor. Yet, they may be able to assist with the management of medical bills. After an injury, the last thing you want to worry about is paying hefty bills to medical providers, especially if you may be out of work. With the help of an experienced attorney specializing in personal injury, you may return your focus to your healing. We have listed how an attorney may help you with your bills following a car accident.
After a car accident, it often is challenging for victims to pay medical bills. Often, victims are out of work and have no reliable income coming in. Many Americans do not have sufficient savings to cover accidents, and many families may have nothing. However, with the help of an attorney, you may be able to have your medical bills deferred until after the case is resolved. Attorneys often send letters of protection to your medical providers guaranteeing payment after the case is settled. Additionally, many personal injury attorneys may have professional relationships with doctors specializing in injury cases. In these instances, victims may be able to acquire the care they need, above and beyond what an insurance company would be willing to pay. Finally, in some circumstances, an attorney may be able to arrange for a lawsuit loan. In this case, the victim would be able to petition a bank for a cash advance in exchange for repayment from a future financial settlement. However, the above recourse actions must be discussed with your attorney before making arrangements with other parties.
Unfortunately, many medical expenses may not be deferred for extended periods. When your medical bills become due, payment may be approached through a legal recourse known as the collateral source rule. This law varies from state to state. Medical bill payment is often one of the most significant components of a personal injury settlement. Additionally, many attorneys are very good at professional negotiations and may be able to reduce medical bills.
While personal injury cases widely vary from claim to claim, in general, a personal injury attorney can:
In the event of an accident, your health insurance company may pay for all or some of your medical expenses. Still, your insurance coverage may fall short of climbing medical costs in many instances. Depending on the state, often at-fault drivers are responsible for all damages relating to an accident, including medical expenses. However, until the other driver is determined to be at fault in court, you will be responsible for all of your costs relating to the accident. Your attorney can help discuss what options may be available to you.
Generally, until you receive your settlement compensation, any damages relating to the accident, whether physical or mental, will be your responsibility to cover through health insurance or pay for out-of-pocket. Health insurance coverages widely vary across networks and from person to person. No matter the coverage, it is very usual to pay copays at the doctor’s office, and medical costs may often exceed limits for an auto accident. In addition, health insurance claims may be denied. Often insurers will argue that the treatment you seek is not medically necessary. Other times claims will be rejected due to:
Your attorney may be able to help you appeal this decision. Still, ultimately any non-covered medical expenses will likely have to be paid out-of-pocket.
In some states, Personal Injury Protection or Med Payment Coverage is required. Other states may recommend obtaining this insurance coverage but will leave it optional. PIP and Med Pay coverage are often available through your auto insurance provider to help you pay for medical bills if you are injured in an accident. PIP and Med Pay can help pay for:
In the event that you cannot reach an agreement with your health insurance company, you may be able to appeal your medical bills. Again, a personal injury attorney can help. Appealing a medical bill can often be successful. However, this process can be complicated and needs to be done in a timely manner with proper documentation. Again, this is where your attorney will be able to help. Learn more about appealing medical bills that were denied by your medical insurance here.
When establishing damages in a personal injury claim, medical bills often do not paint the whole picture of the level of pain and suffering you have endured. Additionally, overreliance on medical bills alone can be a mistake. With the help of an attorney, medical bills can be supplemented with testimony from witnesses regarding how an accident affected you and provide backup evidence relating to your medical diagnoses that a general practitioner may be unable to deliver. Attorneys will also help you ensure that your medical bills are admissible in court. This will ensure that your medical expenses are sufficiently established and will be adequately covered in the settlement process.
If you have been in a car accident and are concerned about how you will pay for your medical bills, we at Tatum & Atkinson, PLLC are here to help you. Our personal injury attorneys are experienced in helping car accident victims get the medical care they need and getting medical expenses managed. Contact us today by giving us a call at 800-LAW-0804 or here to receive a free case evaluation.