What to Do with Medical Bills After a Car Accident?
The Car Accident
You were in a car accident. Your car was damaged, but the worst part is the injuries you suffered. Cars can be replaced or repaired, the things you were planning to do that day can wait, but your physical body cannot be replaced and sometimes the restoration of your health comes at a significant cost.
Car Accident Medical Bills Add Up Quickly
If you were seriously injured in the car accident most likely you were taken by ambulance to a hospital. The ambulance ride alone could cost you around $1,000- $2,000, possibly more. Then you add on the cost of the emergency room visit which can range from $1,000 to $10,000, or higher, depending on where you are seen and what tests are performed. And sadly, these costs are just the beginning. Many times surgeries are required for significant injuries. When you go into surgery you will not only being paying for your doctor to perform the surgeries, but you will also be paying for the facility in which the surgery is done and the anesthesiologist that assists with the surgery. Even if surgery is not required, many car accident victims spend weeks and months going to a chiropractor or physical therapist to get relief from back and neck injuries.
What to Do with the Car Accident Medical Bills?
The amount of medical bills that start piling up after a car accident can be staggering! Fortunately, you do not have to handle those bills alone. The PIP (Personal Injury Protection) coverage on your Utah automobile insurance policy will be the first amount paid towards your bills. Utah law requires motorists to carry a minimum of $3,000 in PIP coverage.
What to Do Once the PIP Coverage Is Used Up?
However, often times the PIP coverage is not enough to cover your incurred bills. If the accident was not your fault you will often receive compensation from the “at-fault” driver’s insurance or the insurance of the driver that caused the car accident. Often times this insurance company will quickly offer you a small settlement amount. However, this is where it can get a little tricky. Sometimes when the settlement is offered you are not sure what the FINAL amount of your medical bills will be. Treatment takes time. It can also be complicated. This is where consulting with a qualified and experienced lawyer can be helpful so you don’t take a quick settlement that will not cover all your medical bills. A lawyer can help you understand the terms of the settlement and help you assess whether or not the offered amount is sufficient. Otherwise, you may end up paying out-of-pocket for medical bills caused by the fault of someone else.
Other Options for Covering Your Medical Bills
If you have health insurance, they may also cover some of your medical bills. Not only can your health insurance pay a portion of the bills, but health insurance companies also negotiate contract prices for services. Often hospitals and doctors charge you an amount that is over the contracted amount your health insurance will allow. Once your health insurance gets involved in the medical bills the initially billed amounts can be reduced significantly. This can save quite a bit of money, even if they ultimately do not pay for a variety of reasons, including if you need to satisfy your deductible. However, many hospitals and chiropractors will refuse to bill your health insurance or not accept your health insurance. Once again, this is why it is advantageous to have an attorney represent you. We can ensure that your medical bills are being handles properly. You also need to be aware of repaying your health insurance, if necessary. A lawyer can often get a reduction on the amount that needs to be repaid to your health insurance.
Receiving a Settlement on Your Case with the Assistance of a Utah Attorney
Unfortunately, even with PIP coverage and health insurance, there can still be a significant amount due on your medical bills. So what are you supposed to do about all the medical bills piling up? That is again where a qualified and experienced lawyer can help. Most importantly a lawyer can help you get a large enough settlement to cover all of your medical bills and get you extra money for future medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. These settlements are often very large and dwarf the medical expenses! This is by far the best way to protect yourself from having to pay medical expenses out of your own pocket after a car accident. Once again, the settlement amount will typically be much larger than your medical bills! This is clearly the best option, combined with the above.
Other Advantages of Having a Lawyer After a Utah Car Accident
There are numerous advantages to having a lawyer. Your lawyer can negotiate with medical providers. A lien on your medical bills is another way a lawyer can help. Putting a lien or a payment plan on the bills you cannot pay is a great idea as it will stop your bills being sent to collections while you are in the settlement process. A lien can also make it so your medical bills are not due until your case has settled with the liability insurance. Liens usually require the involvement of a lawyer and is a contract to pay the medical provider at a later date.
Lesson of the Day- Get a Lawyer!
The amount of medical bills from an auto accident can be quite overwhelming. The best way to protect yourself is to hire a lawyer. Call us today! 801-738-9999!