Nothing is more stressful than watching your medical bills pile up after a serious car accident. You may wonder who is financially responsible for your expenses and may consider sending them to your health insurance company. Fortunately, you have options. In this blog, Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys outlines the basics of accident-related medical bills.
Identify All the Insurance Policies That Apply to Your Claim
Depending on your circumstances, a variety of insurance policies may cover your medical bills. However, without an experienced injury lawyer, you may overlook some of these policies, losing out on valuable compensation.
At-Fault Driver’s Liability Insurance
Under our state’s fault-based system, someone who causes a crash is financially responsible for the victims’ damages. That means that you’ll need to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Alabama car owners must carry a minimum amount of liability insurance.
- $25,000 per person and up to $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident
- $25,000 in property damage coverage
While some responsible car owners carry larger policies, many people only have this minimum coverage. However, a catastrophic injury claim can quickly deplete even a more generous policy.
UM/UIM and MPC Policies
After a crash, you should always review your own auto insurance policy, looking for sources of compensation. At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we recommend that all car owners purchase:
- Medical Payment Coverage: Covers costs from an accident regardless of who caused the crash, including medical bills, lost income, and funeral costs.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM): Steps in and pays your accident-related expenses when the at-fault driver has insufficient coverage.
These policies can provide much-needed compensation and cover your medical bills.
Commercial Insurance Policies
Sometimes, you may have multiple liability claims arising out of a motor vehicle accident. For example, if a bar or restaurant overserved a drunk driver, you may have a dram shop liability claim against the establishment. An Alabama injury lawyer can help you evaluate your case and identify these more nuanced legal claims.
Should I Send My Medical Bills to Medicare or Medicaid?
If you’re a Medicaid or Medicare beneficiary in Alabama, you have the option to use your government-sponsored medical insurance to cover your medical bills after a crash. When the hospital bills Medicaid after an accident, it will only cover the contracted percentage of the total bill, which is usually 10-20%. If you file a claim against the negligent party and win, you’ll need to reimburse Medicaid and Medicare for the bills they paid on your behalf, whether you win through a jury award or a settlement.
However, we still recommend using Medicaid and Medicare to cover your bills if you have that option available. If you have questions about your health insurance coverage and how you can pay your medical bills after a crash, it’s in your best interest to talk to a personal injury lawyer who can provide direction and counsel.
Will I Have to Pay My Health Plan Back if They Cover Accident-Related Bills?
Many people in Alabama have employer-sponsored or marketplace health plans. If you have health insurance, you can send these bills to your insurer. However, just like Medicaid and Medicare, you’ll have to reimburse them for these costs if you win or settle your injury claim.
Sometimes, you’ll get a letter from your health plan, asking questions about your injuries and accident. If you receive one of these letters, you should contact a personal injury lawyer right away; they can help you complete the form honestly and accurately.
In rare cases, the health insurance company will decide to take legal action on your behalf and try to recover its accident-related expenses. Called subrogation, this typically happens when you choose not to file a personal injury lawsuit.
3 Simple Ways You Can Improve Your Medical Bill Claim
If you’re like many accident victims, medical bills make up a large portion of your damages. When you meet with a trial lawyer, they’ll want to know a lot about your treatment, its costs, and your recovery. To help them, follow these three simple steps:
- Keep all of your medical bills, receipts, and explanations of benefits in a folder.
- Instead of putting “doctor appointment” on your calendar, list the medical provider’s name and the service provided every time you see a doctor or therapist.
- Notify your lawyer immediately if Medicaid, Medicare, or your health plan is paying your accident-related medical bills.
This information can help your lawyer accurately calculate your damages, negotiate with your medical providers, and ensure that you comply with Medicaid and Medicare’s rules and regulations.
Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys: Protecting Alabama Car Accident Victims
When you’re injured through no fault of your own, you need wisdom and guidance of a personal injury lawyer. Your attorney can help you navigate the notoriously complex world of insurance settlements, subrogation, and lawsuits.
At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we’ll listen to your story with empathy and understanding, and stand up for you with tenacity and grit. If you’ve been hurt in a crash and need help understanding your legal options, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (251) 888-8888 today or complete our simple online form. Consultations are free.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.