Personal Injury Attorney Assisting Injured Plaintiffs in Northern California

who pays medical bills in a car accidentWere you injured recently in a car crash or another accident in Northern California? You might be asking yourself: who will pay for my medical bills, and will using my health insurance cause my coverage to go up? Nobody who gets hurt in an accident resulting from another party’s negligence should have to pay for the costs of care.

If you’re in an accident, just because you now require treatment caused by someone else’s negligence, your insurance company, even if it’s a government insurance, still has to pay for your care. With Medicare for example, you do have to prove to them that if there’s any other type of insurance that might be available because of the accident–such as medical payments coverage in your auto policy–you have to use that up first and then Medicare will continue to pay for accident related treatment. However, with all companies both private and public, at the end of your case, provisions in their contract will affect the outcome and your net recovery. Let me explain that.

Who Pays Medical Bills in a Car Accident?

What happens is your private and public carrier will continue to pay for the costs of your accident related treatment, but the costs will add up to an amount that, at the end of your case, they will seek to recover. It’s called a claim for reimbursement or for Medicare, Medical or VA coverage it’s a statutory lien. In all those cases our firm works with both your private carrier or if it’s a government insurance such as Medicare or Medical to keep track of accident related charges, to make sure their list matches up with our list so you’re not getting charged for something that’s not related to the accident and then ultimately we will negotiate with those providers to try and reduce their claim in order to maximize your net recovery.

To better understand what we mean, let us provide you with a couple of scenarios:

  • Imagine that you rely on Medicare or VA coverage, or even a private insurance company’s coverage plan, for your healthcare costs. You require emergency transport to a hospital, where the attending physician indicates that you require emergency surgery. You have surgery, and then require a follow-up surgery shortly thereafter. For weeks that follow, you also require expensive prescription medications, as well as rehabilitative therapy. The costs total in the hundreds of thousands of dollars (if you had to pay out of pocket). However, you have government insurance. What will happen is this: your personal injury lawyer will keep track of all of the healthcare and medical costs related to the accident, and can negotiate with the insurance provider. Your insurance likely will cover a portion of your bills, but you may be left with thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs depending upon the type of insurance you have and the specific deductibles (in other words, the amount that you must pay before coverage kicks in). Your personal injury lawyer can work to negotiate the amount owed on those out-of-pocket costs, and can also help you to seek financial compensation for those costs from the negligent party who caused the accident.
  • Now consider the insurance company’s desire to recoup the hundreds of thousands of dollars they have paid for your medical care during the lengthy treatment and recovery period we mentioned above. The insurer—whether it is a government insurer or a private insurer—is going to want the responsible party to pay for the bills they have covered. Even if you have an extremely low deductible and have paid very little out-of-pocket costs, the insurer will want the negligent party to reimburse it for the amounts paid. As such, when you file a personal injury lawsuit, and if you recover damages, the insurance company will say that it has a right to be reimbursed for what it has paid from the damage award. Your personal injury lawyer can negotiate with the insurer on your behalf to help you get the biggest settlement, or damage award, possible in your case.

Your Costs Will Not Have to Go Up

You might also be asking yourself: will my premiums go up when I use my health insurance? When you use your health insurance, it does not work in the way that many people assume automobile insurance works. To be sure, the moment your health insurance company pays a claim related to an accident, the health insurer does not raise your premiums. Your health insurance is there to cover you in situations precisely like an accident caused by a negligent party.

Seek Advice from a Personal Injury Lawyer in California

Do you have questions about health insurance and personal injury claim settlements? A personal injury attorney in Northern California can assist with your case. Contact GJEL Accident Attorneys today.