How Are Medical Bills Paid After A Car Accident?
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If you have suffered injuries in a car accident in Montana, Idaho, or Colorado, you may be wondering how your medical payments are going to be made, especially if you had no fault. Whose car insurance will cover your medical expenses? And when will the insurance company pay you the money? Is there a procedure you should take into consideration? One thing is sure, the process of getting compensation can be complicated, if not overwhelming.
How Are Medical Bills Being Paid in a Car Accident Case?
After you have been involved in a car accident, you are generally responsible for paying your own medical bills. While it may sound harsh at first, you will eventually be compensated for the injuries and damages you sustained in the accident as soon as a settlement is reached. If another driver is entirely at fault, you can bring a claim against them and their insurance companies to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, future earning capacity, or pain and suffering. If you have health insurance or Med-pay, the insurance company might cover the medical costs as they accumulate.
The at-fault driver may not be held responsible for months so they won’t pay your medical bills per se. You will, but once the driver is found liable for the accident and a settlement is agreed upon, you will get compensation. This can severely strain you, as many medical bills must be paid before you reach a verdict.
Private Health Insurance or Medicaid
Suppose you have private health insurance, PIP, Medicaid, or Medicare. This means that the insurance company must cover the medical bills, but the coverage will be subject to deductible and policy limitations. The insurance representatives can deny your claim if the policy doesn’t cover the healthcare service or procedure. Once the claim is correctly denied, you will have to pay the medical bills out of your pocket.
If your insurance claim is being rejected and you have to pay for your medical treatment, it’s in your best interest to get legal representation from an experienced car accident lawyer. A health insurer who refuses to cover your costs within their policy can act in bad faith.
Medical Payment Insurance
It’s common for drivers to add medical payment insurance (Med Pay) to their car insurance policies, as the coverage will pay the medical bills from injuries sustained in car crashes within their policy limits. Generally, medical payment insurance doesn’t have a deductible. However, if the policy limits reach their end, the responsibility for medical bills shifts back to you or your health insurance company.
No Health Insurance
If you have no health insurance, you will be responsible for paying all your medical expenses out of your pocket. Most hospitals have some payment arrangements that can spread the amount you owe over several years.
As you can see, how the medical bills are to be paid depends entirely on your insurance coverage. Getting help from a personal injury lawyer specializing in car accidents is recommended to advise you and help you understand the complex aspect of the law.
If You Were At Fault for the Car Accident
On the other hand, if you are entirely at fault for your car accident, you cannot collect any money for your medical expenses. At this point, you can use your own health insurance or pay the medical bills from your pocket.
Statute of Limitations
Based on your situation, you may need to file a personal injury claim to recover your medical expenses. However, please note that you have a time limit to file your claim. In Colorado and Montana, you will have three years to file your car accident claim from the date of the accident, while in Idaho, you have two years from the date your car crash occurred.
If you fail to file your car accident claim in time, the courts will deny your claim automatically, and you won’t have the chance to recover any financial compensation. Contacting a car accident lawyer after a car crash is the ideal option to avoid running out of time. You’ll also ensure to have the best ally for your legal process.
Why the At-Fault Insurance Company is Held Accountable for Medical Bills
Because Colorado, Idaho, and Montana are ‘at-fault’ states, the driver who has caused the car collisions will be held financially liable for any injuries or damages resulting from the accidents. Precisely, the driver’s insurance company will be held accountable. By law, all drivers must be insured. Once fault is determined, the at-fault driver’s insurance company must pay for damages in an at-fault state. These damages generally include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, or other car accident-related costs. To seek compensation in Montana, Idaho, or Colorado, you will have to:
- File a car accident claim under your insurance policy
- File a car accident lawsuit against the at-fault party and/or
- File a car accident claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company.
How to Properly File an Insurance Claim
Being involved in an auto crash can be a traumatizing experience. While you may be uncertain about what to do following a car accident, contacting your insurance company is essential once you are safe. But when it comes to filing your car accident claim, determining deductibles, and seeking compensation, you’ll want to have a car accident lawyer by your side. Please consider the following:
#1. Get Medical Attention
Most people assume they feel just fine after a car accident and severe pain days later. This not only slows down your recovery but it can detriment your personal injury case. It’s critical to seek medical attention immediately after car accidents to ensure that your bones are correctly set, wounds properly heal, or other injuries are identified. Medical reports will also serve as vital documentation for your insurance company.
#2. Contact Your Insurance Company
Once your injuries are treated, contact your insurance company to report the accident. Be sure to review your insurance coverage and exclusions so you won’t be facing any surprises. Under no circumstances should you give your insurance company any recorded or written statements unless you are 100% sure you understand your coverage. It’s not mandatory to allow your insurance provider to record your phone conversation and speak to an experienced lawyer if ever in doubt. Also, it’s imperative not to accept the estimate of your losses immediately after the insurance representative provides you. While they represent you, they also represent themselves and try to make some money.
#3. Gather Evidence
If you can, gather evidence from the accident scene. You can write down or take as many pictures as possible, including the accident scene, cars involved, your injuries, road signs, or surroundings. Your photos and videos will serve as valuable evidence for your case if you are having trouble seeking a favorable outcome. For example, scrapes, cuts, or bruises can heal quickly, so it’s an intelligent decision to have some photos of your injuries.
#4. Write Down Medical or Other Expenses Related to Your Car Accident Claim
Unquestionably, car accidents are devastating, and you may need to face financial and emotional burdens. You may even incur medical expenses while your insurance claim is being processed, so try to keep a good record of your car accident-related expenses (medical care, supplies, expenses for alternate transportation, expenses paid by relatives who helped you).
#5. Speak With a Car Accident Attorney
Don’t sign anything if you don’t understand the documents you’re asked to sign. Instead, get legal representation to ensure that your legal rights are protected. Hiring a personal injury lawyer specializing in a car accident is the best solution when dealing with a car accident claim. You owe it to yourself and your loved one to seek legal representation so you can smoothly walk through the process and ensure maximum compensation for your case.
Get Legal Advice from Casares Law, LLC
Beyond your physical injuries, emotional trauma can have a negative effect on you following a car accident. To be sure that you will get paid for your medical expenses and get the compensation you fully deserve, you should work with a car accident lawyer. Here at Casares Law, LLC, we know that insurance companies often delay payments or tend to undervalue your car accident claims. This will prevent you from getting fair financial compensation to get back on your feet.
At Casares Law, LLC, our legal team never backs down from a legal fight, and we are always ready to go the extra mile for our clients. When you contact us, you can rest assured that we will navigate the insurance claim process to obtain the best possible outcomes. We aim to maximize your compensation when it comes to your car accident and let you rest and heal while we deal with the hard work. You don’t have to worry about being alone or about your rights. We provide a free consultation and work on a contingency fee basis, so get in touch to discuss your car accident case.
Dale G. Casares
Colorado, Idaho, and Montana
Personal Injury Attorney
We won’t charge a fee until
your claim is settled.