If you have been injured in an accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. Depending on the severity of your harm and the treatments necessary to help you recover, costly medical bills may begin to stack up.
While you wait for your accident case to settle, you may be wondering how you’ll manage to cover these expensive bills. Here, our experienced attorneys explain your options and how you can pay your medical bills until you get your accident settlement.
Under Georgia law, you are responsible for covering your medical bills, whether that be with or without insurance, even if the accident wasn’t your fault. Typically, the at-fault party’s insurance does not pay for any expenses until the case settles, so you may be required to pay off your bills until then. When your case settles, you will receive a settlement release that solidifies that the at-fault party owes you compensation, including the costs of your medical fees. In the meantime, you have several options to choose from to help pay off those medical bills, such as:
An attorney at our firm is happy to walk you through your options and help you decide on the optimal way forward.
If you have medical insurance, whether it be private or federal insurance like Medicare or Medicaid, your care expenses should be covered just like any other health expense you may have outside of the accident. Make sure you talk to your healthcare provider to ensure that they take your insurance, and your doctor could bill them for any expenses accordingly.
Many people are hesitant to use their own insurance to pay for bills if the accident wasn’t their fault. While it may seem unfair, this is precisely what insurance is for! The main reason for using insurance is so that you do not have to pay for expenses out of your own pocket. If you have health insurance and incurred medical bills from injuries caused by an accident, you could use your insurance, regardless of whether the accident was your fault or not.
If the accident in question is a car accident and you have auto insurance, make sure to go over your auto insurance policy to check if your plan has included medical payment coverage, or ‘med-pay’ for short.
Med-pay is an optional coverage plan that covers medical bills up front for any injuries caused by a car collision. Many health insurance plans require you to exhaust your med-pay coverage under your auto insurance plan before being able to use your health insurance. However, there is a limit to the amount of med-pay coverage that is provided, and once that limit has been reached, you must use your regular health insurance or find another way to pay for the bills. The coverage limit for med-pay typically falls between $1,000 to $5,000 but could exceed this amount depending on the car insurance policy and the amount requested by the policyholder.
If you don’t have medical insurance or the necessary funds to pay your medical bills out of pocket, your attorney may be able to set up what is called an “attorney’s lien” or “doctor’s lien” while you await a case settlement. In this situation, your attorney and doctor will sign a lien that essentially promises that the incurred medical bills will be paid off when the case has been resolved. So, your doctor will still provide you with the medical care you need for your injuries and bill you for their services, but will not require payment for those services until the case settles. If this is something you may need, let your attorney know as soon as possible so that they can help set that up for you.
At Smith Hulsey, we understand how stressful and headache-inducing it may be to face these mounting medical bills amidst your accident case. Our experienced attorneys are dedicated to helping you find the right solution to pay for those expenses while you wait for your case to settle. If you have any further questions about this process or are in need of legal guidance, do not hesitate to contact our firm today.
Smith Hulsey Law