California law requires the person who causes an injury to pay all the victim’s losses, including medical bills and expenditures.
The problem is, the victim must first file a personal injury case which can sometimes take weeks, months, or years to get resolved. While settlement negotiations are ongoing, or litigation is pending, the injured victim needs to get his or her medical bills and costs paid. This can be challenging for victims who require costly medical care and have not gotten any money from the person who hurt them.
Getting Medical Bills Paid After an Accident
Victims covered by health insurance, Medicaid or Medicare should use their health insurance coverage to pay for medical costs while their case is ongoing. When the personal injury case is settled, the health insurer will make a claim to recover these funds out of the final settlement. This is something victims should keep in mind when agreeing to a settlement amount. If the settlement money just covers the costs a health insurer paid, the victim will not receive the money he or she is entitled to for lost wages or non-economic losses such as pain and suffering.
If an accident victim does not have health insurance coverage, it can be more difficult to get and pay for necessary medical treatment before an accident case is resolved. An experienced personal injury attorney will have medical providers willing to take a lien on the case so they can provide care now and get paid later from the settlement or jury award. A careful analysis of medical liens and reimbursable insurance benefits must be made by an experienced attorney before the case can be properly resolved.
If the injury was the result of an auto accident and the victim had medical pay coverage, aka Med Pay, as part of his or her insurance policy, those benefits can be used, up to the limits purchased, to pay for medical bills. Med Pay benefits are usually sold in increments of $1k, $2k, $5k or $10k. These benefits not only protect the operator of the vehicle, but also protects the passengers.
In cases where, as a result of their injuries, victims can not work and are struggling to pay not just medical bills, but other costs of living, they may wish to pursue lawsuit loans. These loans allow victims to borrow money against the future settlement of their case. Typically, they are structured so the loans do not have to be paid back if no settlement is reached and no damages are awarded by a jury. The problem with these loans is that they involve extremely high interest rates which dramatically eats away what the victim receives from the settlement. In my opinion, these should only be used in very serious accident cases, and even then, should be an absolute last resort. Before a victim takes on a lawsuit loan, the terms should be carefully reviewed by an attorney to ensure it is a smart financial choice.
Whether medical bills are paid out-of-pocket, through an insurer, or from other sources, it is imperative to carefully document the full extent of the medical expenditures incurred after an accident injury. Victims need to be able to show the amount of their losses and damages in order to be fully and fairly compensated by whoever caused them harm.
Contacting a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident can be very beneficial for victims. Insurance companies often use the stress victims feel from mounting medical bills to pressure them into accepting a low settlement. A personal injury attorney will help protect victims. He will deal with the insurance companies so the victim does not have to, and he will facilitate effective settlement negotiations often leads to an acceptable settlement agreement.
Get Help from a Long Beach Personal Injury Attorney
Your Injuries are Personal to Me
Call the Law Office of Michael D. Waks at 888-394-1174 or use the convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation to speak with a Long Beach personal injury attorney to learn how I can help you if you’ve suffered an accidental injury. You will be under no obligation and you will never pay any money unless you recover compensation for your losses.
- When Are Liability Waivers Enforceable in California? - April 5, 2021
- 4 FAQs About Defective Product Wrongful Death Claims - February 18, 2021
- 4 FAQs About Left-Turn Motorcycle Accident Claims - February 7, 2021