It can seem unfair and bewildering to receive expensive medical bills after an accident, particularly when the other driver was at fault. The way these bills are handled depends on when they arrive: before your accident settlement or afterward. Read on to learn more.
Before Settling Your Case
- Get Medical Treatment: Your health is the priority. Make sure to seek medical treatment as soon as possible after the accident, regardless of how minor you may think your injuries are. Medical documentation can be crucial for your case.
- Document Everything: Keep a detailed record of your medical expenses, including bills, receipts, and any related costs like prescription medications, transportation to medical appointments, and medical equipment.
- Contact Your Insurance Company: Notify your insurance company about the accident and your injuries. They might cover some initial medical expenses through your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage or underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage.
- Communicate with the At-Fault Driver's Insurance: Contact the insurance company of the at-fault driver to inform them of the accident and provide them with the necessary information. Be cautious with what you share and consider consulting an attorney before providing any statements.
- Consult an Attorney: It will be beneficial to consult a personal injury attorney before negotiating with the at-fault driver's insurance company. They can guide you through the process, ensure you're treated fairly, and help you understand your rights and options.
After Settling Your Case:
- Review Settlement Terms: Once you settle your case, carefully review the terms of the settlement agreement. Take note of what medical bills are covered (and what might not be).
- Address Outstanding Bills: Contact your healthcare providers and inform them that you've reached a settlement. They might agree to wait for payment until the settlement is finalized.
- Negotiate with Healthcare Providers: If you have outstanding medical bills, you can try negotiating with your healthcare providers to reduce the bills or set up a payment plan.
- Consider Liens: Some healthcare providers might have a right to place a lien on your settlement amount to ensure they get paid. Discuss this with your attorney and consider negotiating the lien amount if possible.
- Use Settlement Funds Wisely: Use the settlement funds to pay off medical bills, reimbursable expenses, and any legal fees. Depending on the settlement terms, you might also need to allocate funds for future medical treatment related to the accident.
Remember, legal and financial situations can be complex, and it's essential to have professional guidance throughout the process. Consulting an attorney with experience in personal injury cases will help ensure you're making informed decisions that protect your rights and best interests. For more information, contact a personal injury attorney near you.