The goal of filing a car insurance claim is to recover compensation for damages, particularly medical expenses for treating the victim’s injuries. Unfortunately, victims may not see any compensation for months after the crash, and hospitals and other medical providers do not want to wait for payment for the services they provide.
Many people do not have the money to pay these bills while waiting for a settlement to reimburse them, even if they have health insurance. Most health insurance plans have deductibles, copayments and potentially other out-of-pocket costs.
Fortunately, there are various options for paying medical bills while waiting for a settlement. In some cases, your attorney may be able to get involved to prevent your bills from being transferred to debt collectors, which hurts your credit.
Our Lake Charles car accident lawyers are here to help victims of car crashes. Schedule your free consultation today to learn more. We have been helping Louisiana crash victims for more than 25 years.
Using Your Health Insurance Plan
While your health insurance may not cover 100 percent of the cost of your treatment, it may take care of a significant amount. Health insurance may allow you to get the treatment you need while waiting for a settlement. However, victims may still have large deductibles and other financial responsibilities with their coverage.
It is important to remember your health insurance company is likely to expect reimbursement if your lawyer secures a settlement from the other driver’s car insurance policy. Typically, this is taken care of before the victim receives any compensation from an insurance settlement. Health insurers often place liens on settlements to make sure they can collect their money at the end of the process. This process is often called subrogation.
However, some insurance policies may have exclusions for car accident injuries. That means they may not cover treatment because the insurance company expects the victim to obtain compensation through an auto insurance claim.
Using Medicaid or Medicare
This may be an option for those who qualify for these plans. However, just like with regular health insurance, you will likely be required to reimburse these insurers if your lawyer secures a settlement.
Negotiating With the Hospital
It may be possible to get the hospital to hold off on trying to collect payment until your case is concluded, particularly if your attorney advocates for you. He or she may be able to draft an agreement for the hospital to collect payment at the end of the legal process and not send your debt to collections.
While victims could negotiate with the hospital on their own, it is probably going to be difficult to get the hospital to sign on. The best you may be able to do is negotiate a payment plan, but these can be expensive, and if you miss one payment, they may expect payment in full.
Another advantage to having an attorney negotiate on your behalf is he or she may be able to negotiate down the payment to the insurance company. In other words, you might not need to pay them back the full price of your treatment. This puts more money from the settlement into your pocket.
Medical Payments Coverage from Your Own Car Insurance
Louisiana does not require drivers to carry medical payments coverage, but it could be useful after a crash. This additional coverage pays for medical bills for a specified period after the crash. This coverage can be used no matter who is at fault for the crash, and it applies to the policyholder, other passengers and family members.
While medical payments coverage costs extra, it could be helpful after a crash, if you can afford to add it to your policy.
Asking Friends or Family Members for Help
Friends or family members may be able to help you with some of your medical costs while your attorney seeks a settlement. However, this may not be an option for many people.
At Galloway Jefcoat, we understand this is a difficult time for you and we are prepared to help. Our goal is to get you the compensation you need to help you put your life back together. We are here to answer your questions and assist you.
Before going into debt to pay your medical expenses or skipping treatment because you cannot afford it, give us a call to see how we may be able to assist you. There are no upfront fees or obligations. That means no financial risk.
Need Legal Help After a Car Crash? Call Galloway Jefcoat
Our experienced attorneys are here to help after a car crash. We know you have many questions, and we offer a free consultation to discuss how we may be able to assist you.
Our firm has obtained millions on behalf of our clients in a variety of cases. We are prepared to manage every step of the legal process on your behalf.
Give us a call today. We are ready to help. (337) 984-8020