“Who gets the insurance check for my medical bills?”
You’ve just been in a car accident and sustained injuries of a significant nature. You are laid up in the hospital and have been told that your medical bills for recovery and rehabilitation will run in the tens of thousands of dollars. You get the bill in the mail shortly thereafter. All these things leave you feeling defeated and overwhelmed, and probably with a lot of questions.
Tragos, Sartes & Tragos is here to help.
Who will pay for my medical bills?
Upfront, you will be the one paying the medical bills for your hospitalization and recovery. However, after all the red tape is cut and the paper hounds are satisfied, the insurance company of the negligent driver will be the one to reimburse you for your out-of-pocket expenses.
You will need to wait until you have been given all the necessary medical treatments and have been discharged by your doctors before you can ask for a settlement with the insurance company. Depending on your condition, you could be paying for your own bills for several weeks, months or even years before you have been cleared by the doctors and can file a settlement.
Keep in mind that, under most circumstances, the at-fault party will not be paying for medical bills on an on-going basis. The only exception to this rule is an auto accident occurring in a “no-fault” state and accidents where one or more parties have Medical Payment coverage.
According to the law, the negligent driver is not required to pay on-going medical bills and is only required to pay for damages, which, in a personal injury case, includes medical treatment.
What happens if I live in a “no-fault” state like Florida?
You will receive payment from your own automotive insurance for some or all of your medical bills regardless of who was at fault for the accident. After the bills exceed the no-fault limit of the state, you will be responsible.
If you are on insurance through Medicare or a state-provided insurance program, you will be able to submit claims to them. Your primary health insurance—whether state marketplace insurance, broker’s insurance or Medicare—will pay upon your submission of doctor’s bills and receipts.
If you have Medical Payment coverage on your own car insurance policy, you will be able to use this plan to cover for your medical bills incurred during the recovery process. If you are not covered by government insurance and your insurance company will not cover the bills, you are responsible for making the payments yourself. Some health care providers will allow you to work out a payment plan to allow you to continue to receive treatment while you are recovering.
How can I negotiate my medical bills after settlement?
Remember, if you settle with the negligent driver’s insurance, you will need to keep a portion of the settlement to reimburse your health insurance, the government and any other organization that treated you while waiting to receive payment from your settlement.
Depending on the terms of your insurance and the insurance of the at-fault party, the amount of money you net from the settlement will depend greatly on the bills you pay first, the bills you submit to your health insurance plan and the bills that you were able to defer until you receive the settlement.
To ensure that you are making the best decisions when it comes to your medical care, it’s a good idea to consult with a trusted attorney prior to taking any definitive actions.
How does personal injury protection (PIP) factor in?
In the state of Florida, PIP will cover 80% of your medical bills up to $10,000 per person for bodily injury or sickness related to the auto accident. In order to qualify for the full amount, a health care professional is required to attest that the injured party had an emergency medical condition (EMC) that warranted immediate medical attention. In the event that you don’t have an EMC, you will qualify for $2,500 per person for any injury or sickness arising from the accident.
PIP will also pay for lost wages up to $10,000 for you if you were injured as a result of an automotive accident, whether or not you were at fault. This payment applies for time spent recovering, time taken off from work and time taken to visit doctors or therapists.
In the event of a loved one’s death in a car accident, the immediate family of the deceased is eligible for up to $5,000 in death benefits to cover funeral costs.
When to contact a skilled Tampa car accident attorney
To sum it all up, the injured person is ultimately responsible for his or her own medical bills following a car accident in Florida. Your PIP insurance will cover the first 80 percent, followed by your primary health insurance.
After this, an experienced and knowledgeable attorney at Tragos, Sartes & Tragos can explain in detail how to handle medical bills until the car accident settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company is approved.
Contact the Tragos, Sartes and Tragos today for a free case consultation.