Who Pays for Medical Bills After an Accident?
Posted on February 17th, 2021 by Zane Cagle
Being injured in a car accident can be an experience with long-lingering effects, and often in more ways than one. Aside from the possibility of debilitating injury and emotional trauma, a car accident can negatively impact your bank account, which only makes it harder to deal with those physical and mental obstacles.
Among the biggest financial problems car accident survivors commonly deal with are expensive medical bills. Even a short ambulance ride and a quick doctor’s visit will come with a steep price tag. More serious injuries, such as those that require hospitalization, surgery, or physical rehabilitation, have the potential to leave you deep in debt.
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. How does that help you pay your medical expenses now, though? Finding solutions attempting to fight an insurance carrier on your own may be quite frustrating and not very successful in getting medical bills paid immediately. If you are hurt, you will need an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer from the Cagle Law Firm.
Who Is Responsible for Your Medical Bills?
Who pays for medical bills after an accident? The short answer is “you.” The long answer is a bit more complicated. First, if you have health insurance, all medical bills should be submitted to your health insurance company. If another driver is found liable for the accident that injured you, they may become responsible for your medical expenses through their auto insurance carrier.
However, you’ll likely receive a hospital bill long before a settlement with their insurance company is reached. In cases like this, you should submit the bill to your health insurance company or make use of any “med pay” options included in your car insurance policy. If you do not have health insurance, then getting medical treatment is more challenging, and paying the bills are as well. Either way, consulting an expert car accident attorney is critical.
It’s important to note that Missouri is one of several states that uses the concept of “comparative fault” when determining liability. In a comparative fault auto accident, multiple drivers may share responsibility for the accident, depending on each drivers’ conduct at the time of the collision. This means that you may be held partly liable for the accident, reducing the damages you can claim. At the same time, however, even if you are found partly liable, you may be entitled to compensation due to the part the other drivers played in the accident. Any time an auto insurance adjuster starts talking about comparative fault or assigns you a percentage of fault, you need to contact an attorney right away.
How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help?
As the information above makes apparent, determining liability and damage amounts can get very tricky very fast, especially for those who don’t have experience doing it. Naturally, you do not have experience dealing with liability and injury claims unless you are an attorney or insurance adjuster. Fortunately, having a personal injury lawyer around to guide you through the process makes things much easier. In addition to helping you understand what kind of compensation you can expect to receive, your attorney will be able to provide you with step-by-step advice about how to take care of your medical expenses as you incur them.
What’s more, a personal injury attorney may be able to negotiate with medical providers in the last stages of your case to attempt a reduction in the amount of the bills paid. This is not always possible. Often, medical providers will assert a lien on your possible claim if the bill has not been satisfied. This is called a medical lien, and sometimes, your lawyer can also help negotiate the terms. Knowing your liens’ terms and which bills to prioritize can greatly impact how much of your settlement goes towards medical bills. A good lawyer knows how to maximize your settlement.
Our St. Louis Car Accident Lawyers Are Here For You
If you’re worried about falling into debt due to hospital bills resulting from a car accident, it’s important to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. As your expenses accrue, you need someone who will work to get you the compensation you deserve sooner rather than later.
Additionally, our attorneys may have some suggestions on the best ways to avoid having debts enter the collections process. More importantly, you need someone who will work to get you the full amount of compensation you’re entitled to, so you can afford to pay your liens and still have something to show for it after.
Don’t waste another minute. Schedule a free consultation with the Cagle Law Firm today. You can call us toll-free at (1-800) 685-3302 or locally at (314) 276-1681.