After a car accident, there are probably hundreds of concerns flying through your mind. How will you pay for the damages? Is your car totaled? Was anyone injured? How are you going to get to work? It can be difficult to steady yourself. Especially if you were harmed in the accident, you’re probably wondering whether or not your insurance is going to help. Sure, it covers doctor’s visits and prescriptions, but a car accident? Luckily, handling your medical bills after an accident doesn’t have to be a headache.
Start with your provider
Before you do anything else, consult your healthcare provider to determine what information they need in the event of a car accident that causes personal injury. They’ll likely determine coverage based on who was at fault for the accident, your policy’s copay, and deductible restrictions, and even the types of car insurance you and the other party have in place. That’s why, immediately following an accident, you need to document what happened pretty thoroughly. It can greatly speed up the claims process. A fair amount of health insurance providers are willing to cover some of your medical bills. Keep that word in mind: some.
In some cases, your provider may not be liable for the medical expenses accrued after a car accident. Since most states require licensed drivers to hold some sort of liability insurance, the auto policy providers involved will likely be called upon to pay first. If your healthcare provider ends up footing a portion of the bill before an auto insurance provider, oftentimes they’ll turn right back around and claim the at-fault driver’s car insurance company. See how it can start to get a bit complicated? Luckily, you (or at least shouldn’t) be handling the finer logistical details. Your number one priority is seeking the care you need for your injuries.
Seeking legal counsel
Health insurance innovations have greatly improved the industry as a whole. Unfortunately, with all the advancements being made, many providers will still hold you on the hook for your deductible amount, any applicable copays, and charges that fall outside of the purview of your policy. These can quickly add up, especially if you’re on a bronze plan with a deductible that creeps into the tens of thousands. If you’re of the mind that the at-fault driver should be held responsible for the damage that they’ve caused and you’re facing a mountain of medical expenses, it’s in your best interest to contact a legal professional to determine next steps.
Whether it’s an accident lawyer in Orange County or Redondo Beach, make sure that you’re reaching out to a professional that specializes in auto accident law. There are several steps to a successful personal injury claim following a car accident and you want to make sure the lawyer you’ve chosen will give you the strongest chance of receiving a fair settlement. There will be investigations into both the accident and your medical care so keep a hold of bills, doctor’s notes, and communication with your health and auto insurance providers. Then, after a settlement demand, the case will either conclude or you’ll have to file a lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit means moving on to discovery and mediation. If mediation fails, your case will be going to trial.
While it can be a lengthy and stressful process, it’s sometimes the only way to receive the compensation you’re due.
Cover your bases
No matter how you choose to proceed after an accident that leaves you injured, you must put your health and well-being first. While you’re receiving care, document everything you can. It’s often helpful to start a file with useful documents, papers, and statements. In the best-case scenario, you won’t need to seek legal recourse, but know that it’s always an option. An accident doesn’t have to up-end your life but if you’re struggling to cover medical bills, know there are resources out there that can help.