After a car or big truck accident has caused injury to you or your loved ones, the last thing you want to worry about is the bill. Paying for medical bills after an accident is not a fun topic, but one that must be discussed.
After an auto accident, there can often be emergency room bills, radiology (x-ray) bills, as well as check ups and more. It can quickly add up. Depending on your insurance, you should have a deductible amount, meaning that the most you pay out of pocket is the deductible amount. For instance, if your deductible is $10,000, you could pay all your bills up to $10,000, and then your insurance would kick in.
While it's important to understand how insurance deductibles work, nobody wants to pay for bills that happened in an accident that wasn't their fault. Additionally, not everyone has their full insurance deductible saved for a just-in-case fund. Several thousands of dollars is overwhelming, especially if your injuries are keeping you out of work.
One way to postpone the paying of bills is to contact the bill collector (the collections) and explain you were in an accident, and that you are working on settling the bills with a lawyer or your insurance company. If you say you need the collections to extend your payment deadline, and that you are attempting to pay them in good faith, they often will work with you to make sure you pay a minimum payment until the case is settled.
If you are using a lawyer, make copies of the bills, and send them to your lawyer so they can keep track of the amount owed. This will help create a list of damages should your case need mediation or settling.
Do not under any circumstance agree to an insurance claim while you are still undergoing medical treatment.
Accepting an offer while you are still seeking treatment can mean that you settled too soon, and remove liability from the at-fault party. For instance, if you have to undergo surgery, and accept a check before the surgery, the at-fault party is not liable for any complications that happen as a result of the surgery.
After a settlement check arrives, even if you used a lawyer, the injured party is still responsible for paying their medical bills. A lawyer can keep track of your bills, but unless previously discussed, they will not be the ones paying the bills from the injured parties' settlement check. It is important to document everything, so that all the bills are accounted for.
If navigating the post-accident to-do list is too much, or you need professional help to ensure you get the best settlement possible, give us at Bart Durham Injury Law a call. Our team has 75+ years of legal experience and is here for you. Our phone number is 615-242-9000, so call and let us help!