Paying Medical Bills

If you are in an automobile accident caused by the negligence of someone else, always provide your health insurance information to the medical provider whether that provider is a hospital or a doctor or any other provider. Hospital personnel will try to convince you that they can make a claim under the at fault driver’s insurance, which is not true.

Most automobile liability insurance carriers will not pay your medical bills individually. An automobile insurance carrier pays the injured person a lump sum that compensates for all of his/her damages that can be claimed, which includes related medical expenses. It is very important that the injured person keep up with his/her explanation of benefits that are received from the health insurance company to make sure that the medical providers are submitting bills to the health insurance company. Many insurance policies provide that if bills are not submitted within a certain time from the accident that the bills will not be paid by it.

Case Study – Failure to Keep Track Of Bills

I have had clients who failed to keep track of the bills submitted to their health insurance company and did not advise me that the bills were not being paid. When it came time disburse funds from the settlement, these bills remained unpaid and my clients were responsible for the entire bill.  Had the bills been submitted to their health insurance company the bills would have been reduced pursuant to agreements most health insurance companies have with most medical providers.

Therefore, when we disbursed the settlement my clients had to pay much higher medical balances than they would have had the client’s health insurance paid a portion of the charges, which resulted in less money to the client.

In addition, the injured parties should be aware that if their health insurance companies pay any portion of the medical expenses the policy more likely than not includes a provision for subrogation against any proceeds an injured party receives from a at fault driver or his insurance company. In other words, the health insurance company must be reimburse out of any recovery that the injured party receives from an at fault party. However, most health insurance companies will reduce their subrogation amount if you have an attorney.

Due to the complexities of the above, it can be very helpful to have an attorney help an injured person navigate through these issues.

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