Dealing with Car Crash Medical Bills While You Wait for a Settlement

Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Oct 09, 2019 in Auto Accidents

stack of medical billsYou will not be able to get insurance compensation until your car insurance claim is concluded. So, you must figure out how to pay those hefty medical bills while you are waiting for your lawyer to obtain the settlement you need and deserve.

The dedicated Phoenix car accident lawyers at the Phillips Law Group understand how daunting this process can be when you are facing exorbitant medical bills and other unexpected expenses after a collision. We can describe some options that may be available to you and can discuss how we can help during a complimentary case consultation.

Health Insurance

If you have health insurance available from an employer or your own private plan, you can submit your medical bills to your insurance provider for payment. The health provider will then submit the bill to your health insurance provider while requiring you to pay any necessary copays.

You may also be required to meet a deductible before you are able to get the insurance carrier to cover expenses. For example, you might be responsible for the first $5,000 and then the insurance carrier covers the excess (depending on your insurance contract). The payments the insurance carrier provides on your behalf and the services it pays for depend on the terms of your insurance policy or health plan.

Subrogation

Private health insurers will usually have subrogation rights that allow them to claim reimbursement against a settlement or judgment you are awarded from the defendant or his or her auto insurance carrier. This means that the insurance may initially cover the bill, but if you do successfully recover money from the defendant, you may be required to repay the provider. The medical provider can demand repayment for all or part of what you paid on its behalf.

Public Health Plans

Your Medicaid or Medicare coverage may also be available to initially pay your medical bills stemming from an accident. Like with private health insurance, the public health plan may have a subrogation process in place so that any funds it pays on your behalf are repaid from any settlement or award you receive.

Medical Payment Coverage

Many insured drivers have medical payments coverage, or med-pay. This coverage provides for payment of medical expenses up to your policy limit. This coverage is available regardless of who was at fault for the accident. These provisions also typically contain subrogation rights.

Agreeing to a Lien

Some medical providers will agree to provide services in exchange for an agreement that they will be paid out of the proceeds from any later personal injury settlement. In this way, you can avoid being charged any upfront fees, which is particularly helpful if you do not have other forms of medical insurance to pay the expenses.

However, you should discuss the possibility of entering into a lien agreement and any negative repercussions before you agree to a lien arrangement.

The Other Driver’s Coverage

Arizona is an “at-fault” insurance state, meaning that the party at fault for the accident is responsible for paying the damages that they cause. Fault is typically determined by seeing which driver violated traffic laws or acted in a careless manner. As such, if the other driver was at fault for the accident, you have the right to file a claim against that driver’s insurance policy.

However, it is not uncommon for the insurance company to deny fault or to claim that you were partially at fault for the accident. Arizona uses a comparative fault approach in cases in which both parties were at fault for the accident.

Under this system, fault is apportioned between the parties. If you were partially at fault for the accident, your award will be reduced proportionately to your percentage of fault. Additionally, the insurance carrier may try to challenge the “reasonable value” of the medical services you received in an attempt to deny or minimize the value of your claim.

Contact a Trusted Lawyer for Immediate Help

After an accident, the sooner you get started on your claim, the sooner you can potentially collect a settlement and erase those huge medical bills.

The dedicated Phoenix personal injury lawyers at the Phillips Law Group can handle all legal aspects of your claim so that you can focus on recovering for an injury caused by another party’s negligence. We can handle all communication and negotiations with the insurance providers involved in your case.

Contact us as soon as you can to schedule a free case evaluation. Call 1-800-706-3000.  

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