After the initial shock of a serious accident begins to wear off, it’s time to start dealing with the details of your recovery. For those who have sustained an injury, a part of that process is deciding how to pay for forthcoming medical bills. However, if you are planning to seek compensation for your accident through a lawsuit, choosing means of payment can be complicated.
Texas is known as a “fault state,” which means that the party found to be at fault for the accident is responsible for paying for damages, including medical bills. However, personal injury claims and lawsuits take time. It may be months or even years until fault is proven and compensation is disbursed. In the meantime, however, you need to have your injuries treated, and your medical providers will expect payment for those treatments. Until your case is resolved, you are responsible for arranging payment for your medical bills in some cases.
Although the fear of high medical bills may make you hesitant to seek medical care, if you have been seriously injured in an accident, it’s important to get the treatment you need regardless of your ability to pay out of pocket. The tests results and records created when you seek medical care are pivotal to your lawsuit. They can help document your injury and provide legal grounds for compensation. Seeing a medical professional vastly increases your chances of receiving an adequate settlement. Even if you can’t afford medical bills, you probably have options for getting medical care on credit, and it is very important that you not let medical bill costs stand in the way of your necessary treatment.
Paying for Medical Bills: Your Options
If you are worried about how you’ll be able to afford your medical bills, you do have some resources at your disposal. Your automobile and health insurance policies may help defray some of the costs associated with your injury. If those options are unavailable to you, a personal injury attorney can often identify alternatives and arrange payment details. To help you understand those options, we’ve provided details on some of the most common ways accident victims pay for their medical bills while they wait for resolution.
If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident, you may be able to use your own automobile insurance to pay for part or all of your medical bills. In some cases, insurance providers will even pay for wages lost as a result of a car accident injury. If your insurance policy includes personal injury protection coverage, also known as “no-fault insurance,” then you should have this option.
However, Texas drivers are not required to obtain personal injury protection insurance in order to operate a motor vehicle. Consequently, many drivers opt out of this coverage, which means their car insurance provider will not pay for medical bills associated with a motor vehicle accident. Be sure to review your car insurance policy to see if you have elected for this coverage. An attorney can help you assert your rights to coverage and understand how to talk to insurance providers in order to protect yourself legally.
If you didn’t elect for personal injury coverage in your car insurance policy, or if that coverage is not enough to pay for all of your medical bills, an existing health insurance plan is also a good option. Health insurance coverage varies vastly depending on the type of plan you have; if you have a high-deductible plan, for instance, you may have to pay several thousand dollars out of pocket. Thankfully, that amount is typically lower than the total cost of treatment for a serious injury.
Trying to understand the details of your policy and negotiating for coverage can be difficult, though. Additionally, your health insurance provider may be entitled to reimbursement deducted to from your settlement once your case is resolved. For these reasons, we recommend that you consult with your attorney when trying to arrange payments with your health insurance provider.
Medical Payment Plan
If you do not have adequate coverage for your medical bills, and you cannot pay for your expenses out of pocket, you may be able to arrange a payment plan with your medical provider. The details of these plans will vary depending on your provider and your financial circumstances. Often, an attorney can help advise you as you work to set up payment plans with a health care provider.
Medical Bills Are Not the Only Cost of an Accident
Even if you receive full coverage through an insurance provider, there may be other expenses associated with your injury besides medical bills. Perhaps you had to miss work or lost productivity due to your injuries. Or maybe you had to hire someone to assist with your daily tasks, such as a cleaning service, grocery delivery service, or transportation provider. You may be entitled to compensation for these costs.
You may also suffer from emotional trauma, such as PTSD, following your accident. And if you have lost a loved one due to your automobile accident, you may be entitled to compensation to pay for funeral costs and loss of companionship.
These and other expenses can add to the cost of an accident; the lifetime expenses associated with a serious injury can easily total up to millions of dollars. You may require greater compensation than insurance companies are willing to provide — at least without the intervention of an attorney.
FVF has a long history of helping victims like you, not only to secure the compensation they need to cover medical bills and expenses associated with their injury, but with resources and planning to help them afford medical costs in the meantime. Our expert team can explain your options, offering a helping hand and knowledgeable guidance in the aftermath of a devastating and costly injury. Contact us today to have your questions answered by our legal experts. Our team can help you make at least one aspect of living with an injury a little less painful.