As a personal injury attorney, my clients are often concerned about their medical bills after a crash or other injury suffered as a result of someone’s negligence.
While it seems like they should, the at-fault insurance carrier does not pay your bills as they come due - they reimburse you, or your health insurance company, for your incurred medical bills at the time the case resolves.
Sometimes injured individuals will treat for a year or more. This means that medical bills can go unpaid for that period of time too. I have seen situations where my clients’ injuries are so severe that the patient is unable to provide health insurance information at the hospital’s emergency room. This certainly happens when the client is unconscious at the time of transfer. Because the insurance information is not provided to the medical provider, the medical bills grow.
Sometimes, these medical bills are sent to collections and can damage credit scores.
This is obviously unfortunate considering the bills should have and could have been paid. If you have been injured, always make sure your medical providers bill your health insurance. You should make sure your family members know this so that they can help you in case you are unable to pass on the insurance information yourself. If you have been to a medical provider immediately following a car crash or other injury and you aren’t sure if the provider has your health insurance information, call the medical provider now. Often times, the provider has a limited amount of time to properly submit your bills to insurance.
As you are treating for your injuries, make sure you submit your bills to your health insurance company. Sometimes, the medical providers will see that your injuries were caused by a car crash and will try to bill the at-fault driver's insurance. Unfortunately, while the medical provider may mean well, this puts you in a bad position.
The at-fault carrier won't pay the medical bills until they accept liability and sometimes not until the case is resolved.
This confusion can leave medical bills unpaid. So, even if other driver had car insurance at the time of the crash, tell your medical providers to bill your health insurance company. If you don't have health insurance, hopefully, you had MedPay coverage with your car insurance. MedPay is an optional component of your car insurance that pays medical bills. It will pay for medical care for you and your passengers, up to a certain amount, regardless of fault. If you don't have health insurance or MedPay, sometimes doctors will hold their bills until the claim is resolved - it's always worth asking. The key is that you seek treatment and make sure the bills aren't sitting unpaid.