I’ve Been Injured In A Car Accident But Don’t Have Medical InsuranceLast updated on: November 14, 2022
When it comes to injuries, your mind is generally focused on treatment rather than your insurance status. But an injured person without insurance could be concerned with high medical bills thus opting out of treatment.
However, it’s possible that you could obtain compensation for your medical expenses and other damages if you successfully settle a personal injury claim or win a lawsuit against those responsible for your injuries.
Even if someone else is at fault for your accident, you are the one responsible for your medical expenses initially. While you might eventually be compensated for damages by the at-fault party or their insurance company, they are not required to pay for your expenses as you accrue them.
A person without the money to pay for their medical bills is understandably facing hardship. However, when another person caused the accident, you can pursue compensation through a personal injury claim.
CAN YOU USE HEALTH INSURANCE IN A CAR ACCIDENT?
You can use your health insurance to cover medical costs associated with a car accident if your auto insurance does not include PIP or MedPay coverage. If state law allows, you can also choose to pursue compensation from the insurance policy of the negligent motorist. But keep in mind that determining who caused the accident can take a while, and it’s not guaranteed that you’ll receive compensation.
When you receive your medical bills, it’s best to make copies and send them to your health insurance provider. The process of subrogation (substituting one paying party for another) may require you to pay back your health insurance provider for whatever expenditures they’ve paid if you ultimately decide to submit a liability claim to cover medical expenses.
Subrogation enables your health insurance provider to recuperate its losses in the event that you get any funds for medical bills, such as from a liability claim or legal action. In other words, you may have to pay the insurance company before filing a claim. Be aware that some subrogation provisions allow your health insurance company to file a liability insurance claim on your behalf even if you choose not to do so.
CAN I GET INSURANCE AFTER I GET HURT?
Generally, one cannot purchase health insurance after the accident has already occurred, but there is one significant exception.
Medicaid programs designed to serve underrepresented communities are always accepting new applicants. Enrollment would typically be retroactive to the first day of the month that the person applied for coverage if they reside in a state that has extended Medicaid coverage and they meet the income eligibility requirements.
CAN I GET TREATMENT AFTER A CAR CRASH IF I DON’T HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE?
If you were injured in an accident, you should go to the emergency room on the day of your injuries. Federal Law requires hospitals to treat medical patients regardless of whether they have medical insurance. After the patient has been treated and cleared for release, the hospital staff typically refers the patient for a follow up with another doctor.
If the patient doesn’t have insurance, they may have trouble seeing another doctor as they usually require payment upfront. Some people try to apply for Medicaid or Medicare after making their appointment, but they ought to be cautious of time running out. If they don’t qualify, they’ll have to pay for the doctor visit out-of-pocket.
If Medicaid or Medicare are not an option for you, you might be eligible to receive money for your medical care if you don’t have health insurance and the person or company who caused the accident has chosen to participate in medical payment coverage. You might be eligible for the insurance company’s Medical Payment coverage.
WHO PAYS FOR MEDICAL BILLS IN A CAR ACCIDENT?
Many health care providers who treat or work with car accident victims will understand that some of their patients do not have health insurance. In these instances, you may be able to work with your health care provider to arrange a deferred payment plan, which typically involves a health care provider agreeing to treat a patient in exchange for a promise to pay the bills from the proceeds of the accident claim verdict or settlement.
Additionally, most doctors give patients the option to get a medical lien to pay for their doctor’s visit. The filing of medical liens usually happens in conjunction with the personal injury case, or shortly thereafter. An attorney who has experience dealing with these situations can work with you and your health care provider to arrange a payment structure that works for everyone involved.
WHAT IF YOU’RE IN A CAR ACCIDENT WITH NO INSURANCE BUT ARE NOT AT FAULT?
If you do not have insurance and the accident was caused by the other driver, there may be certain restrictions on what you can recover against that driver. For example, several states have some variation of a “No Pay, No Play” law. In these states, the injured driver must have automobile insurance at the time of the accident. Otherwise, claimants may be limited in the types of compensation they can receive for their injuries.
“No Pay, No Play” regulations are based on the idea that if you don’t have the necessary auto insurance to compensate another person, you shouldn’t be able to fully utilize the benefits of that person’s insurance after the accident. If you’d like to know whether your state is a “No Pay, No Play” jurisdiction, contact a personal injury lawyer.
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO RECOVER COMPENSATION FROM A CAR ACCIDENT WITHOUT INSURANCE?
Successful claimants do not go above and beyond to gather evidence for their claims, but rather are vigilant in documenting their injuries and discussing legal matters with their attorney. Such actions you should take after an accident include:
- Calling the police to report the accident.
- Receiving medical care.
- Taking pictures of the accident scene and the damage.
- Talking to witnesses and getting their contact information.
- Speaking with a car accident lawyer about your legal options.
It’s best to document the situation as much as you can. If you do not report the accident, there is little proof you can use to seek damages from the driver. Protect your rights first and call an experienced attorney.
Government health insurance
Many people cannot afford private health insurance, so they apply for government insurance. Government health insurance can be helpful for relieving some costs; however, many people still have to come out-of-pocket even with insurance.
To be eligible to enroll in health coverage through the Marketplace, you:
- Must live in the United States.
- Must be a U.S. citizen or national (or be lawfully present).
- Can’t be incarcerated.
People with low-income can obtain health insurance through Medicaid, a state-run federal health insurance program. You can be eligible for Medicaid if you’ve been in an accident and as a result lost your employment or health insurance. In that case, the program might cover your medical costs.
Can you use health insurance if you don’t have PIP or MedPay?
Regardless of who caused the car accident, personal injury protection (PIP), commonly referred to as no-fault insurance, assists in paying for expenditures like medical bills, missed earnings, or funeral fees. State-by-state variations exist in this coverage’s requirements.
Medical payments coverage, often known as MedPay, Med Pay, or Med-Pay, is an optional insurance policy that pays for certain medical costs associated with auto accidents, including:
- Fees for hospitals and ambulances.
- Appointments with physicians..
- Medications on prescription.
- Lab tests.
- Medical supplies.
- Costs of rehabilitation.
You can utilize your health insurance to cover any medical costs associated with a car accident if your auto insurance does not include PIP or MedPay coverage. If you reside in a tort state, you also have the choice of making a claim against the insurance policy of the at-fault motorist to cover medical costs. But keep in mind that determining who caused the accident can take a while, and you are not assured to receive compensation.
CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS TODAY
Are you feeling forced to settle for a low offer in your car accident case just to pay off your medical bills? You need a skilled personal injury lawyer on your side who will pursue damages from the at-fault party and work with your health care provider to ease the burdens of expensive medical costs.
At Zinda Law Group, our team of car accident attorneys have extensive knowledge and experience in handling these types of cases. We work on a contingency basis, which means you pay nothing unless we win. Contact us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.