How to Handle Car Accident Medical Bills Before Your Settlement

After a car accident in Illinois, one of the primary concerns that victims have is how their medical bills are going to be paid. Although you have access to health insurance, expensive deductibles and co-pays can result in tremendous financial hardship. Worse, if there is no health insurance, even a simple visit to the emergency room can lead to thousands of dollars in medical expenses. Not to mention that severe injuries generally require extensive, ongoing medical care, and few are prepared to bear the financial consequences of medical expenses. You can read more here.

Who Pays Your Medical Bills After an Injury?

Under Illinois law, the individual responsible for your injuries is legally required to pay for your medical bills and losses. However, this can only happen when your settlement comes through. Most drivers may not have not good car or personal insurance coverage, which means that your costs of medical care or treatment could exceed what they can pay out. Moreover, insurance companies will do whatever they can to lower the amount they pay you or delay payment, hoping you will accept a lower offer. 

Moreover, most healthcare providers do not wait until your car accident case is resolved. They expect payment as soon as they complete treatment and will send your bills to collections if they are not paid. 

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Here are some options on how to handle car accident medical bills before your settlement:

  • Have your health insurance company pay the bills because they will do so promptly. You may be concerned that it is not fair to your health insurer for them to pay for accident-related medical expenses caused by someone else. However, they will likely have a right to be reimbursed out of the proceeds of your settlement for the expenses that they pay on your behalf. Remember that health insurance is there to protect you and should be used when necessary.
  • Ask your medical care providers to place a lien on your settlement, which is an agreement to pay the medical care and treatment costs once you receive compensation. The lien typically quotes the total billable amount. Before agreeing to a lien, it is highly recommended that you speak with a car accident attorney to negotiate the amount on your behalf.
  • Another resource is the medical payment coverage on the car, commonly referred to as ‘med pay’ coverage. That can also be used to pay for uncovered deductibles and expenses when you have health insurance. This no-fault coverage pays your expenses up to the policy limits. However, these limits are generally very low, often less than $5,000, although other policies have higher amounts of med pay coverage.

Because every car accident case is unique, you may require the help of a car accident lawyer who can look into the particulars of your case and advise you further. There are different ways to pay your medical bills, and an attorney can help you choose the best option.

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