I still remember my accident like it was yesterday. One minute I was driving my daughter to school and the next I was waking up in a hospital bed. It was frustrating to deal with the emotional trauma of forgetting an entire week of my life, in addition to stressing about my small child. Fortunately, we were both able to recover, but it wasn't easy walking dealing with the medical bills that accompanied the accident. I found myself struggling with things as simple as answering the phone, because I was nervous about dealing with another insurance adjuster. Fortunately, by working with a lawyer, I was able to make sense of my situation. I know that you can overcome difficult challenges too, which is why I shared my story on this website.
Compensation for medical bills is an integral part of a car accident claim settlement. However, you can't wait for a car accident claim to settle before seeking treatment or settling your medical bills. Here are some of the ways to pay your medical bills pending claim settlement:
Your Personal Injury Protection Coverage
Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage pays for your medical bills regardless of who was at fault for the accident that caused your injuries. This means that you can process it fast and use it to pay your bills since the insurer won't be interested in assigning liability. All you have to do is to make a claim proving that you are injured in an auto accident and have the relevant coverage.
PIP coverage is mandatory in no-fault states, but may be available as an option or nonexistent in other states. Therefore, if you live in a no-fault state and have PIP coverage, submit a claim to your insurance carrier so it can pay your medical bills.
Your Medical Payments Coverage
Medical payments (MedPay) coverage operates just like PIP coverage; it pays your medical bills regardless of fault. The major difference is that it is also available in states that don't use the no-fault system. However, it is usually an optional coverage, which means those looking to reduce their insurance rates often leave it out of their car insurance. Therefore, if you aren't in a no-fault state, your car insurer will use your MedPay coverage to settle your medical bills.
Your Health Insurance Coverage
A typical insurance coverage isn't limitless, and both MedPay and PIP coverage aren't exceptions. Therefore, it's possible to incur huge medical bills that PIP or MedPay can't settle. If you have health insurance, then your insurer can also take care of a portion of the bills. Your Medicare, Medicaid or private health insurance may kick off after you have exhausted your PIP or MedPay coverage limits, or there might be a pre-arranged method for sharing the bills. In other states, it is the health insurance coverage and PIP coverage that must be exhausted first before MedPay can pay your medical bills.
If you don't have any of the above forms of insurance coverage, then your medical bills will be your out-of-pocket expenses. As you can imagine, it can be an expensive affair, which further underscores the need to work with an injury lawyer (such as one from Zavodnick, Perlmutter & Boccia LLC) closely and have your case resolved as soon as possible.