Do I Pay My Doctor’s Bills While Waiting for My Claim to Settle?
Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Jul 08, 2020 in Car Accidents
In short, the answer is yes, even though someone else’s careless actions may have led to your injuries, you are responsible for handling your medical bills. However, there are multiple options that may help make the costs more affordable while waiting for your claim to resolve.
Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak discuss different ways you may be able to better manage the expense of your medical care without taking the full financial burden on yourself.
Our qualified attorneys have a successful track record for helping our clients seek compensation after being injured due to another’s negligence. Learn more about personal injury claims and how we may be able to help you. We offer a completely free initial consultation where we can assess the strength of your potential case and you can get answers to your legal questions.
What Options Are Available?
This is a question that attorneys at our firm are asked all the time. Personal injury cases can take months to years to finalize, and in the meantime, doctor bills, surgeries, physical therapy, even the cost of traveling back and forth for treatment continue to pile up.
Here are some options for handling your medical costs until a settlement or verdict is reached on your claim:
Using Medical Payments Coverage
Medical payments coverage, or MedPay, is not required under Indiana state law, but if you purchased this insurance, it can help cover medical costs after a car crash. This benefit follows the car, not the driver, and it will only pay medical costs for you and any occupants in your car. It will not benefit drivers or occupants in other vehicles.
MedPay can be purchased as either a primary or secondary coverage provider:
- If you have primary MedPay coverage, it will be used first after an accident, even before your health insurance, but only up to the limits you purchased.
- Secondary MedPay coverage is only an option if you also have health insurance, and it can be used as a secondary resource for medical costs not covered by your health insurance plan.
Do You Have Health Insurance?
Using your own health insurance can help provide an immediate benefit to enable you to get the care you need while waiting for your claim to settle.
However, there are other facts to understand about using health insurance for injuries resulting from a car crash:
- High deductibles: An unfortunate reality is that many health insurance plans today carry a high deductible that policyholders must meet first. Typically, however, this is offset by the fact that most insurers have an agreement with network providers to help you get treated at a discounted rate. This can save you money in the long run.
- Subrogation: Whatever medical costs your health insurance covers, you will have to pay back out of your settlement once your claim is finalized. This subrogation is the legal reimbursement of any costs paid out for injuries caused by a third party – in this case, the at-fault driver who caused your accident.
If the at-fault party has limited or no insurance and you have uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, you may be able to pursue a claim through your own policy. Our attorneys are prepared to communicate with your insurance company on your behalf in this situation to help you pursue the full limits of the policy you purchased.
For those who participate in either of these government-funded plans, you can use this insurance to pay for your medical bills after a car crash. However, you must notify your insurer of the accident, and you will be required to reimburse those costs once your claim settles.
Payment plans: Sometimes, you may be able to set up a payment plan with your medical provider to help make any out-of-pocket costs more affordable. However, these payment plans are typically only good as long as you stick to the agreement. If you miss a payment, you may then be required to pay the full balance you owe.
Letter of Protection: In some cases, a medical provider may accept a letter of protection from your attorney. This letter is simply an explanation that you are in the process of pursuing damages against another’s car insurance company. It also promises payment of your medical costs out of the proceeds of any settlement you may receive. It is important to note, however, that if you do not receive a settlement, you will still be required to pay these medical costs.
Contact Our Firm to Speak With a Qualified Lawyer Today
Our attorneys have decades of experience advocating for the injured in Indiana. We welcome the opportunity to review your claim and answer your legal questions. We can discuss what options you may have for compensation, your resources for paying for your medical care, and fully handle your case on your behalf.
Contact our firm to arrange for your free legal consultation with one of our South Bend car accident lawyers. We can take your call 24/7 to schedule this no-obligation meeting. There are zero upfront costs if we represent you, and we do not get paid unless we first win a verdict or settlement for you.
Make sure your legal rights are protected. Our firm is prepared to help: (844) 678-1800