Dealing with the physical and emotional aspects of being injured in an accident can be overwhelming. Outstanding medical bills pile on another layer of stress and determining who is responsible for paying them can be confusing. The accident attorneys at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices have represented the interests of thousands of injured victims throughout eastern Pennsylvania and can help you understand how the payment of medical bills is handled in a personal injury claim.
Paying Your Medical Bills
You likely will start incurring accident-related medical bills long before you receive a settlement or award from the liable party’s insurance company. You still are responsible for paying these bills in a timely manner. Even if you use your own medical insurance the deductibles and copayments for surgery, hospital stays, and medical care can add up fast. Unfortunately, the stress of dealing with this often drives injured victims to accept a low settlement offer. Insurance companies will take advantage of this, so it’s important to find an experienced personal injury lawyer who can negotiate to help you recover the maximum compensation to protect your health and your family’s financial security.
Documenting Medical Expenses
Medical bills are quantifiable monetary damages. You must show proof to ensure you, your insurance company, and health care providers are reimbursed for the full amount of all accident-related care. Failing to properly document medical expenses can seriously cost you in the long run, so make sure to keep every single piece of accident-related documentation in a safe place and give copies to your attorney.
It is crucial to save all medical bills, statements, and receipts for your accident-related medical expenses, including:
- ER costs
- Ambulance fees
- Lab and diagnostic tests
- Charges related to surgery and hospital stays
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Medical equipment
- Visits to doctors and specialists
- Home and vehicle modifications
- Nursing care
- Transportation costs
Even if you have valid documentation, an insurance company may try to dispute medical bills due to preexisting conditions and other issues. A personal injury attorney will protect your rights and fight to ensure all your accident-related past and future medical expenses are fully covered in your settlement agreement.
Using Your Own Insurance
If you have your own car insurance and health insurance, these policies may cover your medical bills while your case is ongoing, although you will be responsible for copays and deductibles. Once your accident claim or lawsuit is settled, an insurer may issue a medical lien in an effort to recover these costs from you. Some health insurance companies try to collect through a process known as subrogation. Your attorney can help you understand how subrogation claims work in Pennsylvania and ensure your rights are protected.
What if I Don’t Have Medical Insurance?
Those without medical coverage should speak to a personal injury lawyer about how to handle medical bills during an ongoing accident claim. Your attorney may be able to negotiate the cost of your medical bills and help you get on a monthly payment plan you can afford until you receive a settlement.
How an Accident Attorney Can Help
After a settlement offer is accepted and paid, your attorney will determine whether you need to pay certain medical bills and take care of any medical liens. If the insurance policy limit isn’t enough to cover them, your accident lawyer can try to negotiate a reduction in the amount you owe. If you have any questions about how your medical bills will be paid or the claims settlement process, make sure to discuss your concerns with your lawyer. Your attorney has an obligation to keep your rights and interests at the forefront. A scrupulous, experienced personal injury attorney will gladly explain how the process works.
Contact an Eastern PA Accident Lawyer to Learn More
The legal team at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad is dedicated to protecting accident victims’ rights and helping them recover the compensation they deserve. If you have questions about personal injury-related medical bills or you’d like to schedule a free consultation with an accident attorney, contact us online or call our Bath office at 610-867-2900. We’re proud to serve clients in the Lehigh Valley and throughout eastern Pennsylvania.