Your Car Accident Claim Has Already Settled
The other driver came out of nowhere and now, through no fault of your own, you are in the hospital with serious injuries. Following an ambulance ride, treatment in the emergency department, and follow-up surgery, the bills are already starting to trickle in. You know the accident was not your fault and that the other driver’s insurance should pay for your medical care, but what do you do in the meantime to make sure the bills get paid on time?
Indiana Insurance Settlements Can Take Time
The first thing you should do following a serious car accident is talking to an Indiana car accident attorney to start the process of negotiating with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The Indianapolis office of Keller & Keller can take this burden off your shoulders as you recover from your injuries. We will also advise you about paying your bills, but this guide will get you started. Even in cases of clear-cut fault, it can take months to settle a claim for an acceptable sum, particularly if your medical treatment takes time to complete. If your attorney is not able to negotiate a fair settlement, the next step would be to take the insurance company to court, which can take even more time.
But Your Bills Are Due Now!
You will most likely find that your medical bills for the treatment you have received so far will have to be paid long before you will see any settlement money. Your medical providers won’t care that you are expecting to receive an insurance settlement. You are responsible for your bills and they must be paid on time. So, how do they get paid? The following are possible sources to consider:
- Your own health insurance. If you have health insurance, that will automatically be billed for any healthcare costs, from emergency treatment at the scene to follow-up rehabilitation. However, if you do receive compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance, your health insurance company will require repayment of everything they covered. This is known as subrogation and you agreed to it when you bought your health insurance policy. It’s important to understand that the point of the insurance settlement is to cover the losses you experienced because of the crash, including medical bills, so it makes sense that your health insurance carrier would be reimbursed for these costs.
- Your own car insurance. If the driver who caused your accident doesn’t have insurance, or his coverage is insufficient to cover your bills, you can make a claim against your own uninsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, if you have it. However, it is best to let your personal injury attorney deal with your insurance company as even your own insurer will do all they can to avoid paying out policy limits.
- MedPay coverage. If you purchased the optional medical payments (medpay) coverage with your auto insurance policy, this is a great option for paying your medical bills. After all, that’s what it’s there for! In Indiana, when medpay has covered your medical bills and you are compensated by the at-fault driver, you are entitled to a 1/3 reduction in the amount you have to pay back to your insurance company, so you keep more of the settlement money than you do with health insurance.
- Medicare/Medicaid. If you have either of these government healthcare plans, they will pay your bills like private health insurance does and they will also have to be paid back out of the settlement. In fact, you may even need to provide proof to the at-fault driver’s insurance company of the amount owed to Medicare or Medicaid before they will agree to a settlement.
If you don’t have health insurance or the optional extra coverages on your car insurance, talk to your attorney about paying your medical bills.