How Do I Pay My Medical Bills After a Car Accident?
Written By: Attorney Branson Rogers
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Being involved in a car accident is often a scary and overwhelming time. Someone can quickly go from driving through a normal day, to suddenly being in a hospital following a car accident. During this time, victims are faced with worries about how to get around, how to begin a claim with an insurance company, and what to do about the medical bills that pile up while they heal.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, the car accident attorneys at Zinda Law Group can help. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you seek maximum compensation for medical bills, property damage, loss of earnings, pain and anguish, and more.
Paying For Medical Bills After A Car Accident
Car accidents are so common that many options exist to help victims potentially pay for the ongoing treatment they need to heal. Some of these options include health insurance, direct agreements with doctors, private funding companies that will pay for treatment, a victim’s own car insurance, and payment plans.
Unfortunately, car insurance companies may never pay out for medical bills, and even if they do, it may only be a one-time payment after a victim agrees to settle his or her case. Insurance companies know how overwhelming medical bills can get after a car accident, and often use this to push victims to resolve a case before it even begins. That is why it is important to make sure you fully know all the options available to help you heal following a car accident.
Treating Through Health Insurance
The most common way victims pay for medical treatment is through health insurance, whether the insurance is private or through Medicaid or Medicare. If you have health insurance, this can lighten the burden as the health insurance may pay for your treatment as you go, often just leaving you with copays. However, it is important to know the details of your specific health insurance so that you know whether you have to meet a deductible, and what, if any, caps your coverage may have.
Treating through health insurance can be the safest option for many victims, but may have important effects on their case. For example, in states like Texas, victims may only seek compensation from car insurance companies for:
- amounts that they or others actually pay for their medical bills; and
- amounts that are still owed on their medical bills
This means that if a health insurance company writes off or adjusts away any portion of a medical bill, a victim cannot seek compensation for those portions. Also, health insurance companies typically have a right to be paid back for whatever they pay for a victim’s medical bills if a victim receives compensation from a car insurance company.
Private Funding Companies
Whether or not a victim has health insurance, private companies exist that may pay for a victim’s medical bills following a car accident with the agreement to be paid back after the case ends.
Unlike health insurance, this does not require a victim to know the specific terms of their insurance or worry about deductibles, copays, or coverage caps. Additionally, this option can lower stress throughout treatment, as a victim does not have to worry about consistently showing a health insurance card, cash, or credit cards every time they seek treatment.
Additionally, no matter what a victim’s state says about what a victim may seek compensation for, the medical bill that a private funding company pays for and the amount the victim can seek compensation for will be the same.
Direct Agreements with Doctors – Letter of Protection
Due to how common car accidents can be, some medical providers are willing to enter an agreement with a victim to treat them without any up-front payment, as long as the medical provider is promised to get paid if the case results in compensation for the victim. The common phrase for this type of agreement is called a letter of protection, which can go a long way to help victims who are afraid of how to pay for the treatment they need.
Not all providers are willing to enter this type of agreement, and many that do will not unless the car accident was clearly not the victim’s fault. However, if a provider is willing to enter this agreement it can greatly help take the weight of medical bills off the victim while they heal.
Using Your Own Car Insurance
Some car insurance coverages exist that can help you pay for medical treatment regardless of whether a car accident is your fault. If you have coverage called Personal Injury Protection or Medical Payments with your own car insurance, this coverage can help pay for your medical bills, and may even help pay for wages that you lose following a car accident.
To find out if you have these coverages on your own insurance policy, feel free to call the adjuster or representative on your insurance form, check your online portal for coverage information, or ask your company to send you a Declaration Page that details your coverage.
Setting Up A Payment Plan
For many initial medical bills like a hospital, urgent care, or ambulance bill, providers may work with victims that can pay their bill little by little over time, but cannot pay this up front. For the provider, it is often better to receive some payments little by little rather than deal with the uncertainty of perhaps never being paid at all.
With this in mind, victims can try to set up minimum monthly payments to ensure a provider does not send their bill to collections or take other actions that can hurt a victim’s credit. This option not only protects a victim’s credit, but also ensures they are not expected to make any large, immediate payments.
Knowing Your Options – How Zinda Law Group Can Help
Following a car accident, a victim should only have to worry about treating and taking all the necessary steps to get back to normal. Unfortunately, after a car accident, victims are at their most vulnerable physically, mentally, and emotionally. Victims must face their physical pain, trauma, and mental/emotional pain, all while worrying about trying to get back to normal as medical bills pile up.
The best option to help a victim pay for the medical treatment they need can vary a lot from case to case. At Zinda Law Group, we seek to counsel victims about all the options that are available to them, and help find the options that are best for that person.
Our firm believes that an injured victim should never have to worry about their ability to afford excellent legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you pay nothing unless we achieve a favorable settlement, judgment, or verdict for your personal injury claim. That’s our No Fee Guarantee.
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