When you get hurt in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you may wonder who is going to pay for your medical care. The thought of paying unexpected, mountainous medical bills for an accident you didn’t cause can be extremely frightening, especially when the same accident that caused your injuries also put you out of work.
Thankfully, the at-fault driver (and their insurance company) will be held responsible for paying your medical bills after a car accident. Your car accident attorney will fight to make sure your compensation covers the cost of your medical bills, future care, pain and suffering, and more.
However, getting the at-fault driver to pay for your medical care before you receive your verdict or settlement is usually not an option. Their insurance company won’t just reimburse you for every doctor visit. In fact, their lawyers might do everything they can to avoid paying medical insurance payments at all.
Of course, your legal team is fully equipped to fight on your behalf and secure the result you deserve. But the defense’s resistance means that the fight for your recovery can take years.
Thankfully, while you wait for your verdict or settlement, you have different options for covering the cost of your medical bills.
Who Pays for Medical Bills After a Car Accident?
If you have medical insurance through your employer, the government, or a private company, then your health insurance will cover your medical bills according to the terms listed in your policy.
Many insurance policies have deductibles, which are the amount of money you must pay out-of-pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. Coinsurance policies—when you pay a percentage of the total cost of your care—are also common. Even though your future recovery amount will cover the entire cost of your care, you will need to pay your deductible and copay while your attorneys fight for your compensation.
Some health insurance policies won’t cover the specific treatment you need. You’ll need to cover these costs using other means: by paying out of pocket, finding a doctor who will treat you on a lien, or using your Med Pay coverage.
Medical payments coverage, or Med Pay, is an add-on to your car insurance policy that covers your medical expenses if you get into an accident. If you purchase Med Pay with your car insurance policy, your Med Pay policy covers you, the passengers in your car, and any resident relatives if they’re injured in a car or pedestrian accident—regardless of who was at fault.
To receive Med Pay funding for your medical care, you must forward your bills to your auto insurance company for review and approval. Some insurance carriers have deductibles that must be met before Med Pay money is disbursed. Other Med Pay policies are in excess, meaning that Med Pay won’t cover the amount owed until your own health insurance has paid their portion first. However, there are generally no coinsurance or copayments with Med Pay, and your policy won’t restrict the medical providers that you can visit.
Unfortunately, many drivers don’t have Med Pay coverage. Med Pay is not required for drivers in California, and many people avoid it to save money, thinking that their health insurance policy is sufficient coverage.
Even if you have health insurance, we highly recommend purchasing Med Pay coverage. Med Pay can be used to cover health insurance copays or deductibles. In addition, if your injuries require care that isn’t covered by your health insurance, Med Pay can cover these costs up to your policy limits.
No Health Insurance? Medical Liens
As of 2020, California residents are required by law to carry a health insurance policy. Those who opt not to purchase health insurance pay a penalty at tax time.
However, gaps in insurance coverage are common, and some victims of car accidents find themselves in need of unexpected medical care despite not having insurance.
Without insurance, you will be liable for the cost of your care out-of-pocket. This cost is usually near-impossible for people to pay.
This is where your attorney steps in. Some healthcare providers accept medical liens, meaning that they will treat your injuries and accept payment later when you receive your settlement or verdict.
Many medical liens are negotiable. Though paying with a lien often results in higher charges from medical providers, your attorney may be able to negotiate down the final amount you owe once your attorney secures your result.
Get Your Medical Expenses Covered: Call PARRIS
Hiring an attorney after a car accident is the best way to ensure you obtain monetary recovery that covers medical bills, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
The personal injury attorneys at PARRIS are specially equipped to secure for you the monetary amount you need to be made whole again. Our team has been restoring the lives of car accident victims for over 37 years. When you call us, we’re ready to fight for you.
Contact our car accident attorneys today for a free review of your case.