If you are injured in an accident, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the changes these injuries have brought to your life. All of a sudden you find yourself going to medical appointments, receiving therapies, having to pick up medications, and more. You may also have to stop going to work to tend to your health. And as all this is happening, you may discover that the pile of medical bills keeps growing while you have no income coming in. If so, personal injury lawyers Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff want to point out that there are resources out there that can help you take care of your medical bills. Read on to find out what they are.
Should I file a lawsuit against the party responsible for my injuries?
When you are injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you have the right to sue those responsible for your injuries. However, even if your personal injury claim is successful, it will take a long time to either settle or go to trial. You will then have to wait a bit longer to have those much-needed funds in your hands. The problem is that you are facing those medical bills now, and you need to find a way to pay them.
Ultimately, the individual or business liable for your injuries may be on the financial hook for your bills and other losses. In the meantime, you need to look at the laws of the state where you live and the type of insurance coverage available to you.
It is important to understand that you are usually responsible for the payment of the medical bills as you incur them. You may get the money back once the lawsuit or insurance claim has been resolved, but for the moment, the only exceptions to this rule are:
- When the accident takes place in a “no-fault state”
- When you are in an accident that triggers “med pay” insurance or other similar coverage
- Worker’s compensation claims
If your injuries fall under any of the above categories, you can generally submit the bills as you receive them and rolling claims may be paid out until you reach the coverage limit.
For all other cases, the law does not require the person or business who is at fault to take care of your medical bills on an ongoing basis. You may have to wait until the other party is found to be at fault for your injuries and other losses in court before you will start receiving the needed funds to cover your medical bills.
Even if your case ends up settling before getting to court, which is the case in the majority of personal injury claims, until there is a resolution with the other party, it is your responsibility to make sure that your medical bills are paid.
What types of coverage are available to pay for medical bills?
You may feel confused, trying to understand whether your car insurance, health insurance, Medicare, or some other source will help you with your medical bills due to an accident. If there is more than one policy, which one is considered to be the primary one?
In general, “med pay” and PIP (personal injury protection) insurance have to be used first when it comes to an accident. These are considered primary insurance. Once you reach the policy limits of that coverage, you can start using your health insurance as secondary coverage.
What if the accident takes place on someone else’s property?
In slip and fall or premises liability cases, the person that is injured will usually have to ensure that all medical bills are paid as they are generated. An exception would be when the property owner’s liability insurance policy includes coverage for medical payments.
If you are injured on a commercial property, their liability insurance policy will likely include some type of medical payment coverage. If the fault is evident in a slip and fall in a store, the injured victim may likely get their medical bills paid fairly quickly by the store’s insurance carrier even before the case is settled.
If you are injured in someone’s home, most homeowner’s insurance policies contain a medical payments provision. This will provide rapid payment of all reasonable medical expenses. However, this coverage generally applies only to guests and visitors to the property and not to the owner and their family members.