In Short, Yes
If you have health insurance, you absolutely should use your health insurance for medical treatment following a car crash even if the crash is not your fault in Missouri.
“If the accident wasn’t my fault, shouldn’t the other driver’s insurance pay for my medical bills?”
Yes, ideally the other party’s insurance carrier should pay for your medical treatment, and they may, but not while you’re still treating. The insurance adjuster will pay your medical bills but only at one time, when your case settles. There are many steps in between. Using your health insurance gets you into see a doctor (as many will not see you without health insurance). There is no “pay as you go” process with the auto insurance company and they are not obligated to pay bills as you go.
So, submitting your medical bills or even talking with the auto insurance carrier is a mistake. To determine whether or not you need an attorney, see Should I Handle My Car Injury Case Myself?
“Why should I use my own health insurance to pay my bills? Why can’t I just wait and pay for the bills out of my settlement?”
When you are hurt in a car crash, getting the right medical treatment is critical to your healing. Most medical providers generally will not treat you unless you have health insurance or another form of payment (cash payment). If you don’t get the proper medical treatment, you could damage your case by failing to “mitigate” your injuries.
Securing a settlement from the other party’s insurance company is not a quick process. If you think about it, it makes sense. Until you know the full extent of your injuries and the medical treatment required, you cannot be sure of the amount that is going to be required. Using your health insurance means your bills get paid and you don’t get sent to collection agencies resulting in credit problems for you.
“Will I lose money in the long run if I use my health insurance?
No. Usually the opposite is true. The health insurance company will usually file a lien to recover money after your settlement. Your attorney can work with the subrogation department of your health insurance carrier to be sure that the health insurance company, so that payment comes from your settlement and not your own pocket.
Contact an Attorney
If you are not hurt, then splendid, you probably don’t need us. If you are hurt due to a motor vehicle accident, then your medical treatment will take some time. It can get complicated just keeping up with medical bills, records, payments made and updates with insurance adjusters. If you’re hurt, you shouldn’t be talking with the auto insurance adjusters. Let an attorney work for you from the beginning to insure that the process is followed and your claim is honored. Each crash and each person is unique.
Zane Cagle represents injured parties of motor vehicle crashes and happily provide a free consultation, toll free 1.800.685.3302 or locally 314.276.1681