When you sustain a serious injury, the bills start mounting rapidly. Even relatively minor injuries can result in thousands of dollars in medical bills. Severe and catastrophic injuries can mean tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. You will also probably have to take time off work to recuperate from your injuries, placing additional stress on your finances.
You can recover your medical expenses and other losses with a personal injury claim, but it could be some time before your case concludes and you get your settlement check or award. Some cases take a couple of months, while more complicated cases could take years. Bill collectors are quick to start hounding you for payment. Learn how to pay medical bills before your personal injury claim settles here.
If you have funds assessable in savings or liquid investments, you can opt to pay for your medical expenses outright. You can simply replace the assets when your case settles and recover your losses.
Remember to keep a record of all the payments you have made and share the information with your lawyer. Bills and receipts will serve as proof of your financial losses for the insurer or court.
Personal Injury Protection Coverage
Most people do not have the cash or savings to pay for all their medical bills. However, if you have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage on your auto policy, you can file a PIP claim to cover your medical bills until your accident case settles. PIP covers the medical bills and a portion of lost wages for you and your passengers, regardless of who was at fault.
Check your policy, or speak with your insurance agent or attorney to see if you have PIP and what your policy limits are. PIP policies range from $10,000 to $35,000.
If you do not carry PIP coverage, but you live with a family member who does, you can use his/her coverage to cover your injuries.
Note: If you use your PIP and you win your personal injury case against the other driver (defendant), the defendant is not off the hook. The defendant or his/her insurer will reimburse your insurer for the PIP payments it made on your behalf.
If you carry private or employer-sponsored health insurance, you can use it to cover your needs until you get your settlement award. You might still have to pay for your deductibles out-of-pocket.
Keep in mind, though, that when your injuries are the result of another party’s negligence and you win a personal injury case against that party (the defendant), your health insurance company will likely seek reimbursement for all the payments it made on your behalf. This is called subrogation. The idea is that because the defendant caused your injuries, s/he should be ultimately responsible for paying for your medical bills, not your health insurance company.
So, if your health insurance company paid for $10,000 in medical care for your accident injuries, it will seek recovery for $10,000 when you win your case. Our team can explain how this process works and help you protect your settlement from insurance companies.
Agreement with Medical Provider
Sometimes, medical providers will be open to working out a deal with patients and hold off on billing until a personal injury claim settles.
Max Meyers will be happy to talk to your doctor’s office about your case and inquire about an agreement.
As a last resort, you may elect to apply for pre-settlement funding from a private lender. Pre-settlement funding (also referred to as lawsuit loans), is essentially an advance on your personal injury claim settlement. It can help you stay financially afloat and pay your bills until your check arrives.
The downside to this type of loan is that the interest rates are typically very high. Lenders take a substantial risk with borrowers because they are counting on the case to settle in the borrower’s favor. The high-interest rate is proportionate to their risk.
For more information about personal injury claims or for a free consultation with an injury lawyer in Washington, call Max Meyers Law today at 425-399-7000.