Paying Medical Bills Before Receiving Personal Injury Compensation
When you get into an auto accident, you face a number of possible negative consequences:
- Your car could be damaged.
- You could be responsible for damages/injuries to another driver.
- You or your passengers could be injured.
In the case that you get injured, you have a lot to deal with. You'll not only have to seek medical attention and deal with pain and other symptoms, but you will also be responsible for your medical bills.
Even when you have adequate car insurance coverage to pay for your medical costs, you might not see a payout on your claim before you have to pay for your care. Most drivers end up needing to pay for their medical expenses out of pocket or seek other financial options as they wait for their claim to settle.
Unlike many claims that only involve property damage, injury-causing accidents can be very complicated and require a lengthy investigation by the car insurance company.
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Paying Medical Bills Before Getting Personal Injury Compensation
If money is tight, you're in a Catch-22 situation―you need the auto insurance settlement, but if you accept the first offer you'll risk cutting yourself off from financial compensation should any long-term injury effects surface.
Regardless, to help pay the medical bills and other personal injury expenses (which can be pricey), you should lean on your health insurance provider. In most cases, you'll receive quicker coverage. Depending on your health insurance carrier, however, you may be asked to provide compensation once your injury claim is resolved.
In addition, if you're covered by Medicare or Medicaid, you should explore using either one of these options as well.
If, however, you lack any form of health insurance coverage, you'll need to pay out of your own pocket.
Documenting Your Medical Expenses
When you've been injured in an auto accident, documenting all your medical expenses will help ensure you get an appropriate payout on your claim.
Expenses that should be documented include, but are not limited to:
- Emergency room visits.
- Over-the-counter medicines.
- Hospital stays.
- Physical therapy.
- Ambulance expenses.
- Therapy sessions.
- Transportation costs to and from your doctor's appointments.
If you find it difficult to cover your injury costs, inquire with your medical provider about the possibility of placing a hold on your account. Under this "hold agreement," your medical provider will not notify collection agencies, if you agree to pay your medical bills as soon as your auto insurance injury claim is settled.
In extreme cases involving injury settlement lawsuits, you could apply for a car accident settlement loan. As the name implies, this loan can be used to cover your medical bills until a settlement is reached.
NOTE: In cases of serious injury, it can help to hire a knowledgeable personal injury attorney. An attorney has experience navigating injury lawsuits and can give you advice as far as your medical expenses. Also, if your claim ends up in a lawsuit, he or she will already have knowledge and experience with your case.
Additional Car Insurance Information
Car insurance can be confusing, especially when you're in the midst of a claim involving personal injury. For answers about car insurance, coverages, and claims, visit our Insurance Center.