A car accident is one of the more traumatic things that one can experience. Regardless of who is at fault, the feeling of the impact and the damage to your property are very distressing. The impact is even more when you suffer a physical injury that requires medical attention. The expense of the medical bills in many cases outweighs the property damage. In some situations, you may not be responsible for paying medical bills. Here are some considerations when it comes to figuring out who pays medical bills in a car accident.
Who is at fault for the auto accident?
If the accident was not your fault, the other driver is responsible for paying medical bills of yours, but only as part of the accident settlement. In other words, you are not able to send each bill as you receive it to the other driver or their insurance to pay it.
Instead, the process involves entering into a single settlement agreement with the other driver that addresses medical bills. At that point, you would receive compensation for medical expenses that you have incurred. Presumably, this settlement would address future medical bills too.
Attorneys from the Coye Law Firm can advise you further about the other driver’s liability. That way you can work out who pays medical bills in a car accident.
Where do you live?
Some U.S. states are considered “no fault states.” This term means that regardless of who is at fault for a car accident, your insurance provider is responsible for paying all of your medical bills that arise from it. In these states, you can claim your medical expenses through the personal injury provisions of your auto insurance.
Unless you suffered a serious injury, the personal injury provision of your own insurance would usually handle claims for medical bills. About a dozen states are no fault states. However, when you file a claim in a no fault state, you must cooperate with your insurance company. If you do not live in a no fault state, you must pay all of your own bills. To better understand what you must do, it’s best to see a lawyer who has experience helping vehicle accident victims.
How should you deal with the providers?
You cannot simply ignore medical bills, even if you are confident that the responsible party or their insurance will eventually reimburse these expenses. After all, the bills can still impact your credit, and the providers still require payment.
Until there is some sort of settlement agreement that determines who pays medical bills in a car accident, they are still your bills.
Thankfully, there are steps that you can take while you wait for a car accident settlement. You should contact the provider and request additional time to pay the bill while waiting for your settlement. Providers of many health insurance plans will work with you because there is a better chance that they get paid in full if they accommodate you.
Who pays medical bills in a car accident? Responding properly
Getting through the fallout from a car accident, especially if there has been an injury, is never something that you should do on your own. One of the first calls that you should make is to an attorney who can vigorously protect your legal rights. They will fully advise you of all of your options if you have had an accident.