When covering medical bills after a car accident, individuals may be able to receive coverage through their existing auto and personal health insurance, or an attorney may be able to help locate the right provider or delay billing.
One of the biggest concerns following a car accident is medical bills, in addition to many others. While covering medical costs can be a challenge, working with an attorney may be able to help ensure that a financial disaster doesn’t occur.
Insurance Coverage After an Accident
An auto insurance policy often covers anywhere from $10 to $25,000 of total medical costs, but this will depend on both the type of insurance policy and the state where the accident victims live. If an individual is insured in a no-fault state, payments will come out of the insured party’s policy, but payments will come out of the insurance policy of the person who is deemed liable for the accident in an at-fault state.
Once auto insurance has paid out what it can, some states may allow personal health insurance to cover a portion of the medical bills. Again, this will depend on the specific policy and applicable state laws.
Under the Affordable Care Act, it’s possible for health care providers to get insurance companies to cover medical bills in certain situations.
Working with an Attorney for Contingency-Based Medical Billing
A personal injury attorney may also be able to assist a car accident victim by providing access to health care providers that bill on a contingency basis. In other words, the attorney will work with a doctor to delay medical care bills until the attorney can reach a settlement with the victim’s insurer. Following the settlement, the attorney will be able to reimburse the providers for medical services with a portion of the settlement.
If an individual is expecting to receive bills for medical expenses that they cannot pay, an attorney may also be able to speak with the medical center and arrange for delayed bills until the finalization of a settlement.
Some people who are unable to pay for medical bills after an accident may consider bankruptcy, but there are many potential issues that can come with bankruptcy. Instead, it’s best to speak with health care providers and the hospital to discuss negotiating the costs or a tailored payment plan.
Medicaid, local assistance programs, and financial aid from clinics and hospitals may also be able to help cover medical expenses. Ultimately, there are plenty of ways to cover medical bills in the event of a car accident if the victim is unable to pay them off right away.