When someone is hurt in an accident, whether it’s a car accident, a fall, a boating accident or an accident on the job, the resulting medical bills can be more stressful than the pain and suffering. Who pays your medical bills depends on the type of accident and the kind of insurance policies involved in the accident. If you’ve been hurt in an accident, learn how your medical bills are handled in a personal injury lawsuit, and contact Lewis & Keller for legal assistance.
Things to Keep in Mind
An important bit of information to always keep in mind is that, in most cases, you alone are responsible for your medical payments as they occur. Even if someone else is responsible for your injuries and is legally required to pay for your damages as part of a lawsuit, the defendant is not required to pay for your medical bills as you incur them. Exceptions include cases in “no fault” states and workers’ comp cases, which we will discuss further.
Another important thing to be aware of is that if Medicare, Medicaid or a health insurance provider pays the medical bills relating to your accident, they may be entitled to reimbursement from you. Many people assume that these agencies will simply pay for their medical bills, but if you end up seeking compensation or settling for damages, you are required to reimburse these agencies in full for any medical coverage they provided.
No Fault vs. Non-No Fault States
If you live in a “no fault” state and get into a car accident, your auto insurance company will pay for your medical bills regardless of who actually caused the accident. Most “no fault” states have a limit for how much insurance is required to pay, but it is generally up to $10,000. If your medical bills are greater than what your insurance is required to pay, your health insurance, Medicaid or Medicare may cover the rest of your medical bills. If you don’t have that level of coverage, however, you can be responsible for covering the rest of your medical bills.
On the other hand, “non-no fault” states, like our very own North Carolina, generally require you to pay for your own medical bills after you’ve been in a car accident. If you or the driver at fault have medical payment insurance coverage through your auto insurance, this will pay for the medical bills of the driver and passengers up to the policy limits. This type of coverage is known as “med pay” and usually covers up to $10,000 worth of expenses.
Medical Bills for Other Common Accidents
“Med pay” also includes premises liability for slip and falls cases. If you slip or fall on another person’s property and their insurance includes med pay, this will cover your resulting medical bills up to a certain amount. If they do not have med pay, you will be responsible for your own medical bills.
Boating accidents are another common type of accident many people experience. Unfortunately, boating insurance policies do not usually include med pay. So, if you are injured in a boating accident, you are likely stuck paying your own medical bills.
Work-related accidents are also very common and are fortunately covered under your workers’ compensation insurer. Workers’ comp will cover all of your medical bills and expenses relating to treatment including your deductibles. Most are also required to reimburse you for any fees relating to transportation to and from your appointments like toll fees, gas mileage and parking fees.
What if I’m Stuck With All of My Medical Bills?
The worst case scenario after being hurt in an accident is being left with the full cost of your medical bills. This may occur if insurance coverage is unavailable or if you cannot make a personal injury case. In this instance, you will need to work out a payment plan with your healthcare provider, seek financial assistance from friends or family or even filing bankruptcy to discharge your debt.
Contact Lewis & Keller if You’ve Been Hurt in an Accident
If you have been hurt in an accident, one of your best options is seeking legal council. Contact Lewis & Keller to ensure your medical expenses, dealings with insurance companies and lawsuit are handled properly. We’ve been fighting for our clients in the Winston-Salem and Greensboro, North Carolina areas for over two decades, and we’re here to fight for you too.