Paying Your Hospital Bills After An Accident
Victims Often Wait Months Or Years For Settlement.
The price of an auto accident is steep.
First comes the shock and trauma of the collision. Then the physical injuries and the damage or complete loss of your vehicle. Dealing with the other driver, the police and the insurance company can be stressful.
Then, as if that weren't enough, the bills start rolling in.Hurt and unable to work
Auto accident victims often find themselves hurt and unable to work following an accident.
Meanwhile, life goes on. On top of the normal bills for housing, utilities, food, transportation and clothing, medical bills start rolling in.
Ambulance bills. Hospital bills. You might see a separate charge for x-rays, labs, specialists and equipment. All of it adds up.
How are you supposed to pay?
Claims Can Take Months, Years To Settle
Even those who hire an attorney find few easy answers.
That's because personal injury claims aren't paid out in several small increments, but in a single lump sum. This can take months or even years to settle, even longer if the matter goes to court.
Without cash up front, how can anyone afford the high cost of medical care? Is there any way to prevent your unpaid bills from being sent to collections?
Health Insurance Can Help
Many people involved in auto accidents already have protection in place to pay or offset medical bills.
This may come in the form health insurance. Whether it's a private health insurance provider, or a government-administered plan such as Medicare or Medicaid, a large portion of your bills may already be covered.Large health insurance providers negotiate prices for services with doctors, hospitals and other health care providers.
These negotiated rates come to the patient as payments and adjustments, often leaving you with a nominal copay of just $25 or $30. Your bills should include a breakdown of payments and adjustments; you may also receive a breakdown from your insurance provider called an Explanation of Benefit.
If no health insurance is in place, many providers are willing to accept substantial reductions. It's not uncommon for a hospital or physician's' group to accept just 40% or 50% of an outstanding bill through negotiations.
PIP For Kentucky Residents
Instead of, or in additional to health insurance, Kentucky residents often have the option of Personal Injury Protection, or PIP.
PIP coverage is included as part of your auto insurance policy. PIP can provide funds to pay your medical bills without waiting for final settlement of your claim. Just contact your insurance agent or adjuster and tell them you want to make a PIP claim.
Basic PIP coverage provides up to $10,000 per person per accident. PIP can be used to pay entire medical bills or can cover portions not covered by health insurance.
So what happens if you don't have health insurance or auto insurance? Or what if you're facing a substantial balance even after these benefits have been exhausted? All is not lost.
In many cases, health providers will be patient, especially if they know you're a plaintiff in a personal injury case. They know that you likely have a settlement coming eventually.
Some providers have the option of resetting their billing cycle. This means that the normal timeframe for sending your balance to collections is simply delayed.
Other times, they can accept a good-faith payment -- sometimes as little as $15 or $20 -- until settlement is finalized. These steps can prevent medical bills from being sent to collections and harming your credit score.
Get Help With Your Medical Bills
If you've been injured in an accident and are overwhelmed with bills, contact the law firm of Dallas & Turner. We deal with medical providers every day and we can help keep collections companies off your back until settlement.
No matter where you live in the state of Kentucky, we offer injury victims a free, no-risk consultation. This means you’ll never be charged to speak to us and the only way we receive payment for our legal services is if you receive compensation for your railroad accident and injury.
To speak to a Dallas & Turner PLLC attorney immediately, please dial 859-630-0666. You can also write to us by using our free contact form.
Our clients come first, no exceptions. We look forward to working for you.
"Regardless of how strong a case you have, medical bills hit you faster than any case settlement. We're here to help you sort through these issues and help you navigate through your case."James Ryan Turner, Injury Lawyer in Florence, KY