It can be difficult and stressful when an accident victim begins receiving medical bills for a car crash the person did not cause. Doctors may treat accident victims without discussing costs and expenses at the beginning of treatment, but the medical bills will begin to come in the mail within a few weeks after treatment. For someone who is out of work because of the accident, paying medical bills is impossible.
Who Pays My Medical Bills After an Accident?
When you are injured in a car crash caused by another driver, that driver’s insurance provider should be responsible for paying your medical bills. The medical expenses should be for reasonable treatment related to injuries sustained in the collision. However, the insurance provider will not pay any medical bills until you settle your claim. In fact, the insurance company does not pay the medical providers directly. The money is included in your settlement check so that you can pay your medical providers the debts you owe.
Settling an injury claim could take months or even years. Therefore, what are you supposed to do about the medical bills right now?
A Letter from Your New Orleans Injury Lawyer
Some doctors and other medical providers may accept a letter from your NOLA injury lawyer. The letter outlines that you have a claim against a third-party that you expect to settle for compensation. If the medical provider agrees to continue treating you, your attorney agrees that the medical expenses owed to the provider will be paid from the settlement proceeds before you receive any funds.
It is important to remember that if your settlement is lower than your medical bills or your claim is denied; you are personally liable for all medical bills incurred for treatment.
Can I Use My Health Insurance Coverage?
You can submit the medical bills to your health insurance provider for payment. Most health insurance companies pay medical bills related to a car accident. However, you need to understand that your health insurance provider will want its money back if you recover compensation for your claim.
With your health insurance policy is a clause that protects the provider in the event of third-party claims. The provision is referred to as a Subrogation Claim. By using your health insurance coverage, you agree to the company having a subrogation claim against proceeds recovered from a third-party.
How Does a Subrogation Claim Work?
If your health insurance provider paid medical bills related to the car accident, it will assert a claim against the money you receive from the other driver. Before you receive any funds from the settlement or a jury verdict, you must repay the health insurance provider for its payments.
For instance, if your health insurance provider paid $15,000 for medical bills, $15,000 from the settlement proceeds must be paid to your health insurance provider before you receive any funds. Subrogation claims can be a problem when an accident victim receives an amount that is less than the medical costs because the other driver did not have sufficient insurance, or a comparative fault allegation was raised.
In this instance, our New Orleans car accident attorneys negotiate with the health insurance provider for a lower amount to settle the claim. We routinely negotiate subrogation claims so that our clients receive the maximum compensation available for their claim. Even though a provider is not required to accept a lower amount to settle its claim, it is possible and definitely worth an attempt.
Call a New Orleans Car Accident Attorney for More Information
Our attorneys have extensive experience dealing with subrogation claims. We aggressively negotiate with your health insurance provider to protect your best interests.
For more information or to discuss your injury case, contact Attorney Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm by calling (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 for your free consultation with a New Orleans accident attorney.