There are many, many pieces to pick up after an accident. Suffering an injury due to the negligence of another person, company, or organization involves many moving parts. Not only are victims dealing with trauma, but they are also likely facing lengthy physical recovery, lost wages, problems with insurance, and of course, large personal injury medical bills.
The big question is, who claims medical expenses in a personal injury case?
Recovering the cost of medical treatment after an accident is usually the biggest piece of the puzzle. Even if you win the case, receiving compensation from the at-fault party can take months. Regardless of how long it takes to recoup the settlement, medical facilities will be demanding payment for your treatment.
The good news is – with a personal injury attorney on your side – you have options.
Your personal injury medical bills can be covered in several ways. In this post, we want to discuss the primary choices you have. Let’s get into it.
Health insurance is the primary option to cover both current and future medical expenses in personal injury cases. Typically, the at-fault party’s insurance will not pay for your personal injury medical bills following the accident. Instead, they will make a lump-sum payment at the end of the case. This means that your own insurance may need to foot the bills while the case is being settled.
Similar to your auto insurance, your health insurance provider may be able to recover what they pay out via the process of subrogation. Working with a skilled personal injury attorney will be instrumental in settling the case as quickly as possible.
Many states across the country are classified as “at-fault” states – including Illinois and Indiana. This term describes an auto insurance system in which the negligent party is required to cover the victim’s damages in the event of a car accident.
Again, there can be issues if the other party is denying liability.
In this scenario, you may need to turn to your own auto insurance. If your insurance policy includes personal injury protection or medical coverage, you may be able to file a claim. Through the subrogation process, your provider will likely recover the costs paid for your treatment from the liable party after you win the case.
Medical contingency is an option that most victims are unaware of. As personal injury lawyers, we recommend this route to many of our clients who have minimal or zero insurance coverage. Medical contingency means the treatment facility agrees to provide care to the victim at no out-of-pocket costs while the personal injury case is ongoing.
But do medical bills come out of the settlement in this scenario?
Yes. The medical professionals agree to recoup their costs once the case is won. However, effective personal injury lawyers can have great success in reducing the amount of the bills that have to be paid back, leaving the client with more money at the end of the case.
Medical contingency is a fantastic option to cover personal injury medical bills. However, it isn’t always available. Providers will not accommodate this arrangement unless you have a personal injury lawyer backing the case.
A facility will not agree to this unless they are confident that they will receive payment later on. This means you can’t just hire any personal injury attorney – you need to hire a reputable one to make sure the facility is confident they have a good chance of winning the case.
In some situations, the options above may not be available to cover personal injury medical bills. Fortunately, you aren’t necessarily out of luck.
Government options like Medicare and Medicaid may work to pay for medical treatment until the case is settled. This would work similarly to personal health insurance.
Due to the volume of patients covered, Medicare and Medicaid have huge bargaining power with medical professionals. These programs are usually able to negotiate big discounts for the services clients receive.
Friends and Family
Your closest friends and relatives may be another option to consider in covering personal injury medical bills. Talk with your personal injury attorney about how they may be able to recoup their out-of-pocket costs after the case is settled.
Negotiate with Hospitals
In some situations, you may be able to negotiate payment terms and plans with medical professionals and health care providers. Many hospitals are accommodating to victims after a personal injury. They may be able to offer a lower monthly rate to cover costs while the case is ongoing.
The most important thing is to ensure you can reasonably make these payments. This is especially true if you are facing lost wages due to the injury. If you miss a payment, the provider may void the agreement and request you pay the remainder of the bill.
Apply for a Loan
Seeking a loan to cover current and future medical expenses for personal injury is the last resort. These loans can have extremely high-interest rates – which may leave you paying twice the amount borrowed (or more). Don’t even consider this option unless ALL other resources have been exhausted.
Is it Time to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Knowing who pays medical bills in a car accident – or any other personal injury – can be confusing. But the good news is you have options. Most importantly, you are not alone.
Arguably the biggest battle(s) in personal injury cases is dealing with insurance companies to recoup medical costs. Without a specialized attorney on your side, earning compensation for your damages will be extremely difficult.
Many victims shy away from hiring personal injury lawyers because they are worried about high costs. It’s important to understand that trustworthy personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee agreement. This means they make a percentage of the total settlement after they win the case.
In other words, ANYONE can afford to hire an attorney after an accident. You pay nothing out-of-pocket.
If you have any questions about medical coverage, personal injury law, or need help understanding your options, do not hesitate to reach out to Midwest Injury Lawyers. give us a call at 312-786-5881, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or send us a message online.
Even if you don’t have a case, we’re happy to answer your questions.