Will My Health Insurance Pay Medical Bills After a Car Accident?
Car accidents can cause devastating injuries and leave victims with a mountain of medical bills and other financial losses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), costs for medical care and productivity losses arising from car accidents exceeded $75 billion in 2017. If you suffered harm in a car accident, you can potentially hold a negligent driver accountable for your medical expenses as well as other losses and damages. However, getting your medical bills paid is not necessarily straightforward. Typically, you will be responsible for the payment of any of your medical expenses until you can recover a settlement from the at-fault driver. Therefore, it can be in your best interest to immediately turn to your private health insurance with any medical bills incurred in an accident. Even if you are able to hold another driver to account for your injuries and other financial losses, it could take months or even years to recover your due. In the meantime, your health insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare should step in to pay your medical bills. If you have medical bills after a car accident and are wondering if you could hold a negligent driver responsible for your injuries and losses, contact the Fletcher Law Office. Call us now for a free case review at (816) 631-2868.
Reimbursing Your Medical Insurance After a Car Accident
Once an accident victim successfully received compensation from a negligent driver for their damages and injuries, and recovered a settlement or a successful claim in court, they will most likely have to reimburse their health insurance company. This process is called subrogation and allows insurance carriers to recover costs for payments made to their insured client if another driver is at fault for the accident.
The process of subrogation and understanding what you owe your insurance company can be complicated. The amount a victim may receive for medical bills with a settlement can be significantly higher than what the medical insurance actually paid for treatments.
Possible Steps Regarding Health Insurance and Medical Bills After a Car Accident
While every car accident has different facts and circumstances, a personal injury car accident claim could follow this path:
- The victim submits medical bills to their own health insurance
- The victim either negotiates with an insurance company from the negligent party or files a lawsuit against the at-fault driver
- The attorney will try to negotiate a settlement covering the entire amount of medical bills
- The victim receives a settlement for all medical expenses as well as other damages (or receives an award from the court after a trial)
- The health insurance is notified of the victim’s compensation
- The victim’s health insurance company requests reimbursement of their costs which are typically lower than what the plaintiff received for medical bills in the settlement
- The accident victim can keep the overage of the compensation received
However, the entire reimbursement process can be complicated. There are ways in which car accident victims can maximize the amounts they get to keep after reimbursing their health insurance. Having an experienced car accident attorney by your side can help with understanding your responsibilities concerning medical bills after a car accident. The Fletcher Law Office can guide claimants through this process and help negotiate with health providers and insurance companies.
Compensation Recoverable After Your Car Accident
If you or a loved one got hurt in an accident, you could be entitled to a range of compensation in addition to medical costs. Car accidents can leave a victim with debilitating and potentially permanent injuries that may have a long-lasting negative influence on their home life, as well as their career. Holding the negligent driver to account for your injuries and any suffering can help with recovery and provide you with some comfort. While compensation will differ from one accident to another, a victim could potentially recover the following types of compensation in addition to medical expense:
- Lost income and wages
- Future earning capacity
- Property damage
- Transportation costs
- A home health aide
- Physical pain and anguish
- Emotional distress
- Loss of a limb or paralysis
- Loss of a sense such as eyesight
- Out-of-pocket expenses
Depending on your claim, you could also receive other and additional types of compensation. In rare cases, when another driver’s conduct was particularly reckless and egregious, a victim could receive punitive damages in addition to compensatory awards.
How an Attorney Can Help You Receive Compensation for Your Medical Bills After a Car Accident
A car accident lawyer can help accident victims handle their medical insurance and reimbursement issues, which can often prove challenging and complicated. However, in addition to this, a lawyer can help with all aspects of a claim, including:
Building a Strong Personal Injury Case
A car accident lawyer can help develop a strong personal injury case by working to conduct an independent investigation and hire expert witnesses on your behalf. Additionally, another important aspect of a personal injury lawyer’s work is gathering crucial evidence for proving negligence of the other driver. A car accident lawyer can also calculate your total injuries and losses accurately so that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Negotiating With Insurance Companies
Most personal injury claims are settled out of court, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. However, any communication with insurance companies, including settlement negotiations, may result in accurate compensation for a victim if handled by a skilled car accident attorney. While the at-fault party’s insurance may approach you directly with a settlement offer, you should consider discussing any offers with your lawyer before accepting. Consider that once you accept a settlement, you could be barred from initiating legal action. This means you could be out-of-pocket if the settlement does not cover all of your damages. A lawyer can protect your rights and fight for fair compensation. Having an experienced lawyer in your corner, looking out for your best interests at all times can provide you with peace of mind throughout the entire legal process.
Contact an Experienced Attorney at the Fletcher Law Office Today
Knowing exactly what to do and all the steps to take when you are confronted with a mountain of medical bills after a car accident can be challenging. However, legal help is only a phone call away. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss your case with you and work on your behalf, while you can concentrate on recovering from your injuries. Call the Fletcher Law Office now and take advantage of a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our team members: (816) 631-2868.