This article will explain:
- The different ways to cover medical expenses after a car or automobile accident injury.
- The restrictions, payment options, and reimbursement procedure for a Doctor’s Lien.
- Who is responsible for paying car and property damages after an automobile accident.
I Was Injured In A Car Accident. How Can I Pay For Medical Treatment?
If ever you have the misfortune to be injured in a car accident, there are four main ways to pay for the medical treatment you require. Each has its own requirements but offers different advantages and disadvantages.
- Using your health insurance to cover the treatments. Assuming the doctors accept your insurance, this can be a straightforward way of covering accident-related medical expenses. However, any expenses covered by your health insurance will be deducted from a final personal injury settlement.
- Using a doctor’s lien or medical lien to cover the costs. This means the doctor agrees to provide the treatment you need after the car accident injury, but only bills in anticipation of being paid back later, often once your case is settled. If there is a settlement, the doctor gets paid out of that. In these scenarios, your lawyer might be able to work with the doctor to reduce the amount billed for (compared to dealing through insurance companies) to help put more money in your pocket.
- You could pay cash as required. The obvious problem with paying cash is that you have to pay upfront and thus have the funds available. Additionally, there will be no opportunity to get the bills reduced at the end of the case because you have already paid them.
- You could use the medical payments coverage on your auto insurance policy (if you have one). While you are able to use your car insurance’s medical payment coverage regardless of fault, your auto insurance would be entitled to get paid back if there is a settlement with an at-fault party later down the line.
Are There Any Restrictions On The Amount A Healthcare Provider Can Claim Through A Doctor’s Lien In A Personal Injury Claim?
There are no restrictions on the amount a provider can claim through a doctor’s lien, so you can get all the medical coverage you need – as long as the doctor or healthcare provider has agreed to the lien.
It’s important to note, however, that most doctors who do work on liens know that they will probably have to reduce their bills in the end, (or they are willing to reduce them already), and that is why they work on a lien.
What’s more, if there is no settlement though in a case, then the medical lien bills are still owed. While that is a negotiation that can then be done later between you and your doctor, your personal injury attorney may be able to help. Either by establishing strong language in your favor before you sign the lien or eventually during a negotiation.
Do I Have To Pay My Healthcare Provider Upfront If They File A Doctor’s Lien In My Personal Injury Claim?
If there is a doctor’s lien, then the doctor’s bill will get paid at the end of the case, not upfront, and usually it will not be paid out of your pocket at all.
If there is a settlement, it will be your attorney who handles the payments to your doctor or health care provider, as agreed upon in the lien, out of the settlement amount. Better still, your attorney will generally be able to negotiate to get the bills with your doctor to lower the overall amount.
Can A Doctor’s Lien Be Negotiated Or Settled In A Personal Injury Claim?
A doctor’s fees are often negotiated in personal injury cases, usually at the end of the case, once there is a settlement and the amount of money received from it is fixed.
At this point, your personal injury attorney will be able to start sending them some reduction letters asking your doctor to reduce your bills. The aim of the reduction process is to reduce the amount you have to pay out of the settlement to make it as fair and advantageous for you as possible.
Who Is Responsible For Paying Car Damage In A Personal Injury Case?
With property damage, the at-fault party is generally responsible (or rather, their insurance company is) and it is generally handled separately from bodily injury and medical costs. Usually, with the help of an experienced car accident attorney, the property damage portion of the case can be handled fairly quickly. Bodily injury, however, will take more time because of the nature of injuries and the time it takes to treat and heal them.
If you have comprehensive collision coverage on your policy, then you or your attorney will be able to get your car fixed (or replaced) by going through your own insurance company. Of course, sometimes you will have to pay a deductible, but your attorney will be able to get the deductible reimbursed from the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Do I Need A Separate Attorney For My Car Damage Claim In A Personal Injury Case?
Not at all, in fact, it might be considered more strategic to work with the same attorney, as they will not need to duplicate efforts to get to know the situation, accident details, and so forth. A good accident attorney will handle any and all insurance companies involved as well as your personal injury case.
Your personal injury lawyer can thus work with the insurance companies and help you through any necessary procedures for recovering property damages as well as your eventual settlement including the most essential of all, medical reimbursements.
For more information about the personal injury process, and for help Paying For Medical Treatment After A Car Wreck, an initial consultation with expert attorneys is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling Holland & Holland at (562) 600-0807 today.