Who Pays My Medical Bills After a Car Accident?
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you may be concerned about medical bills piling up and your inability to pay. Depending on who was found at fault, you may receive compensation for your injuries from the guilty party. However, it’s important to realize that regardless of the circumstances, all medical bills are your responsibility. If you fail to pay these bills on time, they may be turned over to a collection agency which jeopardizes your credit. However, there may be instances when you can receive help with your medical bills after a car accident.
What to Do After an Accident
If someone is injured during a car accident in the state of Georgia, the injured party has the right to sue the responsible party in court. The judgment amount is determined by the jury who will take a number of factors into consideration, such as any wages lost, the amount of medical expenses, and if the person suffered due to the car accident. Drivers may also choose to sue to repair or replace property destroyed during the wreck. However, the state of Georgia follows a 50 Percent Bar Rule, meaning that the plaintiff cannot recover losses if he or she is found to be 50 percent or more at fault.
Georgia law permits parties to bring personal injury claims for up to two years after a car accident. However, it is wise to make the decision quickly whether or not you would like to sue for the best outcome. Following the car accident, you will also want to go directly to see your doctor or local hospital. This will allow you to obtain documentation showing that your injuries were caused by the accident, as you may need this later on if you decide to sue.
At the hospital, your doctor may offer to bill the other driver’s insurance carrier to cover your medical costs. However, you do not want to do this if you have health insurance. If your health insurance will cover your medical bills, have the insurance company pay it. Medical payment coverage should act as a second layer of protection. Nearly all auto insurance policies offer some level of medical payment coverage that typically ranges from $1,000 to more than $10,000. The caveat is that you have to have chosen “MedPay” coverage. You should always choose MedPay, as it is an inexpensive component of coverage. If you have any payments left over after your medical insurance company covers the bulk, take advantage of your MedPay coverage.
Car Accident Settlement
If the other driver is responsible for the accident, you may be wondering why he or she should not be paying your medical bills. In short, the responsible driver should be responsible for all medical bills that stem from the accident. However, they will usually only pay for these medical costs when the case is settled.
In Georgia, personal injury laws allow you to file a personal injury claim based on the amount of the medical bills, not the amount that the health insurance company paid. For example, if your medical bills totaled $10,000 and your health insurance paid $5,000, you should make your claim based on the $10,000. In the end, you may be required to pay back the insurance company the $5,000 they paid towards your medical bills. However, you will keep the $5,000 difference.
If you do not have health insurance, your options are more limited. While you could always pay your medical bills with the money from the settlement, it could take months to see the settlement money. You may be able to establish a payment plan and make payments each month until your claim is settled. Your Atlanta car accident lawyer may also be able to negotiate with the hospital to reduce your medical bills.
If you are facing financial difficulties and find that you are unable to make your medical payments, you’ll want to consider what options are available to you. Some medical providers will place a hold on your bills if you ask. Under a hold agreement, a healthcare provider will wait to notify collection agencies to prevent your credit from suffering. Instead, your medical provider will allow you to pay your medical bills when your car accident injury claim is settled. If your medical provider does not offer an account hold, you may also want to consider taking out a car accident settlement loan which can be used to pay for your healthcare costs until your case is settled.
Documenting Medical Expenses
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s crucial to document all of your medical expenses. Doing so will help you attain the appropriate payout based on your injuries, amount of your medical bills, and associated costs like lost wages. Some medical costs that you should document include (but are not limited to) emergency room visits, hospital stays, x-rays, over-the-counter medications, prescriptions, physical therapy, ambulance expenses, and transportation to and from appointments.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
Facing a pile of medical bills after a car accident can be highly stressful. If you are not familiar with Georgia personal injury law, you may find that you do not receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Hiring a personal injury lawyer to handle your claim is the best option if you wish to protect your rights and gain the maximum compensation possible based on your unique claim. The Dixon Firm, P.C. can provide the legal representation you need after a car accident.
When you hire an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer, the details of your case will be closely examined to ensure that all the right steps are taken. A personal injury lawyer can also guide you through the complex civil court process to ensure that you recover the appropriate compensation for any lost wages, medical bills, or pain and suffering. Experienced personal injury lawyers can also negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, as well as take care of all court matters including the investigation process and the filing of court documents. To learn more, contact The Dixon Firm, P.C. today.