Who Will Pay My Bills If I Get Injured?
Have you been injured in an accident? Are you experiencing emotional and physical trauma coupled with financial strain? In most instances, if you have been injured in an accident, be it medical malpractice, a slip and fall accident, or a car or motorcycle accident, you could be entitled to compensation. The truth is someone else’s negligent actions could leave you seriously injured and even disabled. If this is the case, you could require lifelong medical treatment that would likely cost you a fortune.
The experienced personal injury attorneys at Henry Law Firm in Ohio can help you initiate a personal injury claim. We can help you recover significant monetary damages after the case and determine how you will pay your ongoing bills. However, your medical bills will get paid depending on the type of case, necessary treatment, and available insurance coverage.
Seeking Medical Treatment Is Essential
No matter the type of accident you’ve been involved in, you’re likely feeling incredibly overwhelmed, especially if you have suffered injuries. You need to complete numerous tasks to resolve an accident, meaning it’s easy to forgo seeking consistent medical treatment for your injuries. Even if you feel you have not been injured seriously or don’t have time to get to a doctor or hospital for an examination, you must take the time to do so.
Your health is one of the most – if not the most – valuable aspects of your life. What you might deem a minor injury could turn out to be quite severe. Getting your injuries accurately diagnosed will not only help you heal faster and better but also increase your chances of recovering fair compensation from an insurance company. With these damages, you can settle outstanding medical bills.
When you seek medical treatment, you will receive documentation. This official documentation from doctors, surgeons, and hospitals is evidence in your case. The documentation may prove that the injuries you are suffering from were caused by your accident. Many insurance companies will try and refute that your injuries are severe or that you did not receive these injuries during an accident because they are trying to pay as little as possible. With your medical documentation as proof, your insurance company will struggle to downplay or minimize your injuries.
Paying Your Medical Bills
It’s crucial to note that a defendant is not required to pay for your ongoing medical bills or other bills you are unable to pay. It might not seem fair, but even if the person who injured you is at fault due to negligence or intentional harm, the law does not require them to pay for your medical bills on an ongoing basis. As the injured party, you are required to pay for your ongoing medical bills either out of pocket or through private insurance. There are, however, exceptions to the rule, specifically accidents where you or the responsible party carried “medical payments” insurance coverage – this coverage is often called med-pay.
Med-pay is a “no-fault” coverage – meaning it will pay for medical bills regardless of who was at fault in the incident. Med-pay coverage may be available through your insurance or, if you were injured at a store or business, through its insurance. The coverage amounts range from $500 to $25,000 or more, but the typical policy amount is $5,000. Unlike the liability settlement, where your attorney will pursue a single lump-sum compensation, med-pay can pay claims as they arise. Thus, if you are accruing big medical bills and high out-of-pocket medical expenses or copays, ask your attorney if it is possible to submit these expenses to a med-pay coverage before your case settles. However, although med-pay can be very helpful in the short term to get medical bills paid – it usually will need to be paid back. So, for example, if your settlement amount is $100,000 and you’ve utilized $5,000 in med-pay, your final settlement amount may need to adjust down to $95,000 after med-pay is paid back.
In personal injury cases, medical bills are a significant portion of the damages you will receive. In most cases, a defendant and plaintiff will reach a settlement agreement; however, the case will go to trial if the parties can’t reach an agreement.
Payment Assistance for Ongoing Medical and Personal Bills
Now, suppose you cannot utilize medical payment coverage – either because you do not carry that coverage or because you do not want to diminish your recovery by paying it back. In that case, a personal injury lawyer can try to negotiate with medical providers to postpone collecting a bill until after your case has been resolved. Some providers will accept a “letter of protection” from your attorney that guarantees the bill’s repayment at the end of your case – think of this as granting your medical provider a lien on your case. Whether or not to accept a letter of protection is the decision of your medical provider.
There are other options available to you when you need to pay ongoing medical and personal accounts. We have briefly listed the primary options and how they work.
- Health Insurance: Your health insurance is still responsible for paying your medical bills after being injured by someone’s negligence – just as it would if you had been injured in any other accident. We often advise our clients to submit their bills through health insurance as they would for any other treatment.
- Medicaid: If you don’t have health insurance and meet the eligibility requirements, you may be eligible to receive Medicaid coverage of your future bills. Medicaid is government insurance that helps low-income earning individuals, children, the elderly, and the disabled cover medical expenses.
- Litigation loans: Often, as a last resort, you can choose to go the litigation loan route. Certain companies will loan you money to pay for your medical bills and your mortgage and household expenses. They will lend you an amount based on what you are projected to earn in compensation for your personal injury case. These companies have high-interest rates, but they cannot claim the money borrowed from you if your case is lost. Your attorney can help you apply for a loan against your case if it is necessary.
Slip and Fall Injury Payment
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, you will likely be required to pay for your ongoing medical bills. However, you won’t be required to pay for your medical bills if the premises you got injured at have a liability insurance policy that includes med-pay coverage. Med-pay is often available in these types of cases. The insurance policy will pay your medical bills until the insured’s policy has reached the limits.
Medical Error Payment
Medical error injuries are often severe and debilitating. Occasionally hospitals will waive specific medical bills and provide free medical care for the injury they caused. However, many hospitals do not follow this practice, meaning victims will have to pay all medical bills associated with the injury – even though it was the medical provider who caused it. A victim being responsible for medical bills results from how difficult it is to prove a hospital or surgeon was at fault. However, your attorney can help you to assert a medical malpractice claim against the at-fault provider and pursue reimbursement of your medical bills as well as the other damage the injury has caused.
Contact an Ohio Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Unfortunately, sustaining injuries due to someone else’s negligent actions is a common occurrence in our world. If you have been recently injured, you might not know who is responsible for paying your medical and personal bills while you are injured. To discuss your treatment options, payment, and pursuing recovery for your damages, you should contact an experienced Ohio lawyer.
At the Henry Law Firm, we strive to help our clients understand all aspects of their cases, including how and by whom their bills will be paid when they have been injured. Contact us today to get help recovering compensation and alleviating some of your financial and emotional strain. Our practice is committed to working hand-in-hand with our clients, explaining the process, and answering questions along the way.