Who Pays Your Medical Bills In a Crash?
Submit Your Medical Bills to Your Insurance
One thing people are usually surprised at is that in a car accident, the “responsible party’s insurance company” does not pay the medical bills!
Granted, if the case is successful and liability established and medical documentation connects the injuries to the crash, there will be a settlement or verdict that encompasses all medical bills, as well as pain & suffering, and loss of a normal life (those ADLs we mentioned above), and wage loss. But they don’t pay your bills before the case is over.
If you have health insurance, you should submit every bill to them directly. Now, some health insurers will claim they will not pay bills related to the crash if there is a “responsible party (the person who hit you)” available to pay. But often, you can submit them before they are even aware of why the bills were incurred.
Why does this matter?
It helps you in the long run. Let’s say your ER visit generates a $10,000 bill. If BCBS pays at a discounted and contractual rate and pays $4,200, this puts more money in your pocket.
You, the insured, if you collect from the at-fault party, must repay your health insurer as part of its contract with you. So you can cut the $4,200 down further when your lawyer negotiates this. Instead of having a $10,000 bill to pay when your case is over, you might only have about $2,500 of the $4,200 paid out of your case proceeds. And, your lawyer should be able to negotiate a complete release of all amounts owed by you for this amount. Ultimately, you are allowing your carrier (either health or auto) to apply lower, negotiated rates that reduce the amount required for repayment.
If you have no health insurance available, you can use option 2, which is medical payments coverage, commonly known as both “med pay” and PIP. Most auto insurance policies have this as an inexpensive option. You can get as little as a $1,000 limit and I have seen limits as high as $50,000, with most policies being around $5,000 or $10,000. Every medical bill you receive can be submitted to your auto carrier if you have med pay. Once they pay these bills, similar contractual obligations arise that require you to repay them after the case is over. But you save money in the long run. Similarly, your lawyer can negotiate a reduction in the amount to be repaid.
Contact Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Stephen Hoffman
If you've been in an accident and have questions about your medical bills, contact Chicago personal injury attorney Stephen L. Hoffman for a free consultation at (773) 944-9737. Stephen has nearly 30 years of legal experience and has collected millions of dollars for his clients. He has been named a SuperLawyer, has a 10.0 rating on Avvo, and is BBB A+ accredited.
Stephen handles personal injury and workers' compensation claims on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay anything upfront and he only gets paid if you do. Don’t wait another day, contact Stephen now.