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Paying for Medical Bills After a Car Accident

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How do I pay my medical bills after a car accident that was not my fault? Attorney Tom Giannotti is here to talk about it…

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Tom Giannotti: https://butlerfirm.com/our-team/tom-giannotti

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► Hi, I’m Tom Giannotti, attorney with Butler Kahn. Today I want to talk about one of the most commonly asked questions that we get from clients and prospective clients and that is, “How do I pay my medical bills after a car accident that was not my fault?”In other words, why am I being asked to pay this medical bill? Why should the other driver not have to pay this or doesn’t their insurance have to pay this? And the short answer is, well, yes, the other driver, the at fault driver, at fault driver’s insurance company is ultimately responsible for paying for your medical bills just like they’re responsible for paying for your pain and suffering and other damages. But the at fault driver’s insurance company is not going to do that until you agree to release your claim against the at fault driver. In other words, settle your case.
► Well then how do you get the treatment you need now without having to wait until a settlement in order to get the treatment that you need? Obviously, we want you to get, you need to get the treatment now. You can’t wait around for a settlement in order to get medical treatment that you need for your injuries. So in reality the first source I would say to turn to is health insurance. If you have health insurance, great, use it. If you have, that could be private health insurance or public like Medicare or Medicaid. All of those programs are responsible for paying your medical bills now, subject of course to whatever terms and conditions you have with that insurance. And so if you have copays or deductibles that need to be met, that’s something that you could come to us and we could help work through those issues with you.
► But health insurance is by far the number one source I would say to turn to if you have it. Not everybody has it unfortunately. And so what are some other sources available to pay medical bills after a car accident? Well, if you have car insurance of your own, some folks may not even realize that they pay for this, but if you have what we call MedPay or medical payments’ coverage as part of your own auto insurance, then that too can help pay for those medical bills. Now that coverage is not usually very much money, but it may help offset the deductible for example. I’ve seen auto policies with a $5,000 MedPay and that’s basically covers this person’s deductible and then their health insurance covers the rest. That would be the ideal situation where you don’t have to pay anything out of pocket or very little out of pocket and then you can settle your case, get the treatment you need.
► And there is one caveat to that is at the end of a case, sometimes your health insurance can try to recover what they call subrogation or reimbursement, some portion of those medical bills that have been paid as out of any recovery, the settlement, but we’re talking fractions of the original medical bills. So I would not really be terribly concerned about that and certainly not a reason to avoid using your health insurance. But again, if you don’t have health insurance, medical payments’ coverage with your auto policy. Also, with some hospitals or other medical providers will work with you and often will agree to payment plans. That’s another good option while you work to settle or resolve your case. Other options are what we call medical funding or liens.

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