Dealing With Medical Bills After An Accident

If you have been injured in a car accident, your number one priority should be to seek medical care right away. Of course, going to an Emergency Room or having diagnostic tests such as x-rays means incurring medical bills. It's natural to worry about medical debt, but there may be options available to you to help pay those bills.

MED PAY COVERAGE

When you're injured in a car accident, the vehicle insurance policies of both drivers may be able to help with your medical bills. Most insurance policies have medical payments coverage, also known as "med pay," which means that the car insurance company will cover a certain amount of medical expenses related to the accident. It may not be enough coverage to pay for everything, but it definitely helps.

A lawyer can advise you about what coverage you may be entitled to under the other driver's policy. He or she will be able to obtain a copy of that policy and, if it provides medical payments coverage, he or she can help you get the money. Your attorney can work with the other insurance company so that you don't have to deal with that as you're trying to recover from your injuries.

Even if you can't get med pay from the other driver's insurance, because he doesn't have it or because she may not have been at fault, your own automobile policy may have a med pay option. Bring your attorney a copy of the policy so that he or she can assist you with obtaining those funds as well. This is one important but sometimes overlooked aspect of an injury case, and an experienced attorney can help you access this resource if it is available to you.

LITIGATION

Of course, consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney is critical to ensure that you get the best possible outcome. If you don't have enough money to hire an attorney, don't worry. Most personal injury attorneys will take personal injury cases on a contingent fee basis, which means that you don't have to pay anything up front. In this situation, the attorney will get a percentage of whatever you recover through settlement or after trial if you win.

If you do not win, the attorney usually does not get any fee. He or she will only need to be reimbursed certain costs of building your case (photocopying and mailing charges, telephone calls, etc.). Every fee agreement is a little bit different, so review yours carefully with the attorney to make sure you understand what, if anything, you may ultimately be responsible for paying.

Attorneys understand that litigation is stressful and can be a lengthy process, and they are there to help you manage things so that you don't have to deal with the stress and can concentrate on getting better. One thing that your lawyer can do is collect your medical bills for you and hold them until the case is resolved one way or another. Knowing how much you have in terms of medical bills is important as your attorney tries to negotiate with the other side to maximize your recovery. And, once the process begins, most doctors or medical facilities will not try to collect any money from you. You can bring your bills to your attorney or have them sent directly to him or her. Then, your lawyer can let your medical providers know that your case is pending and so that the providers will stop contacting you for payment. The attorney will make sure they know they will get paid when the case is over.

Your lawyer will keep a tally of the expenses as they rise - many people continue to undergo treatment even while their case is pending. Once your case has been settled or you've won at trial, your medical providers will be paid from the proceeds of your case. This is another thing your attorney can take care of for you without your having to worry about it.

Don't let the stress of medical bills overwhelm you. Talk with a lawyer today and let him or her begin to help you take care of things so that you can focus on what is most important - getting well.