How to Handle Medical Bills While Waiting for a Settlement
February 24th, 2020| auto accidents are expensive. Between ambulance rides, overnight stays in the hospital, surgical procedures, and weeks, months, or even years of physical rehabilitation, the costs associated with a crash can be enormous. To make matters worse, many auto accident victims suffer disabling injuries that make it difficult or impossible for them to work. That means no paychecks until they recover, even while they’re racking up bills. For victims and their loved ones, there’s no price too high for getting potentially lifesaving medical treatment. But when the bills arrive, they may simply be unable to afford them. Many victims pursue compensation through the other drivers’ insurance policies, but they often find out that adjusters are uncooperative and drag their feet when it comes to getting their claims moving. That means even the most obvious situations of negligence-related crashes can leave innocent victims watching their bills pile up while the negotiation and legal processes play out. At Berg Injury Lawyers, our California auto accident attorneys work hard to get fast results for our clients, but we also know that crash-related expenses don’t wait for claims to settle.
These Resources Can Help You Stay on Top of Your Healthcare CostsIf you don’t have enough money on hand to start paying your medical bills after a crash, you still have many options while waiting for a settlement. This includes:
- Your health insurance coverage—If you have health insurance coverage, you can use it to pay for many of your crash-related expenses, including the ambulance ride, in-patient treatments, and physical rehabilitation. It’s important to tell the hospital about your health insurance coverage as soon as possible, so that crash-related costs can be filed and billed correctly.
- Medicare or Medicaid coverage—If you’re enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid, you may be able to use that coverage toward your crash-related expenses. However, you also may be required to pay back that money if you’re later awarded a settlement.
- Subrogation—Subrogation is a process in which the insurance provider of the injured party pays their expenses under the assumption that it will be compensated for those payments after the victim receives a settlement. Subrogation is commonly used when it’s clear that the victim wasn’t at fault for the crash and has a strong basis for a compensation claim.
- Your own auto insurance—Typically, victims are paid by the at-fault drivers’ insurance companies after crashes. However, victims may be paid directly by their own insurance policies if they purchased supplemental coverage, such as med pay coverage or personal injury protection. These policies often pay regardless of who was at fault for the crash.