How do You Pay Your Medical Bills While Your Attorney is Pursuing Compensation?
The goal of a personal injury claim is to recover compensation for the damages suffered by the victim. A large percentage of those damages are the medical bills for treatment of your injuries. If your claim is successful, and your lawyer pursues full compensation, your past bills will be paid off and your future bills accounted for.
However, compensation will not be paid out until the legal process concludes, either through an out-of-court settlement or a jury verdict. Hospitals and doctor’s offices expect payment at time of their services. Many accident victims do not have the ability to pay bills upfront.
However, there are ways to pay these bills or at least keep hospitals and debt collectors off your back until you receive compensation from your claim.
TSR Injury Law’s Minneapolis personal injury lawyers have extensive experience with these claims. We are here to help during this difficult time. That includes helping you figure out how to deal with medical bills while we pursue compensation on your behalf.
Insurance Coverage to Fall Back on
One of the advantages to Minnesota being a “no-fault state” is car crash victims turn to their own insurance for coverage of their medical bills and wage loss no matter who was at fault. However, if your bills exceed your personal injury protection coverage limits, your lawyer can assist with submitting the excess bills to your private or state health insurance.
Unfortunately, if you were injured in an accident that did not involve your car, it is unlikely you will have insurance coverage to provide compensation right away. That means you will need to figure out how to pay your bills while your attorney pursues compensation.
As mentioned above, if you have health insurance, you may be able to use it to cover medical expenses if there is no PIP coverage (like a trip and fall, motorcycle crash or dog attack situation) or if the PIP coverage runs out in a car crash.
Keep in mind, you will be responsible for any deductibles in your policy. A deductible is a set amount of money you must pay before your insurance coverage kicks in. Coverage will also be limited by the terms of the policy, so some treatments may not be covered. You may also need to make sure you are treated by doctors in a specific healthcare network.
Even if your health insurance does cover medical bills, the law may require repayment pursuant to subrogation. Subrogation is when your health insurance seeks repayment from the injured party’s bodily injury claim.
Medicare or Medicaid
If you are covered by Medicare or Medicaid, you may be able to use this coverage to pay your medical bills. However, the federal government will also request subrogation reimbursement if you receive a settlement. MA and Medicare use different formulas for subrogation. Your attorney will maximize the formula to reduce the amount of the settlement the health carrier takes back.
Agreements with Hospitals
One of the benefits of working with a licensed attorney is that he or she may be able to help you reach an agreement with a hospital or doctor’s office to hold off on trying to collect payment. This not only buys you time, it prevents the health care provider from sending your debt to collections, which will harm your credit score.
While you could attempt to reach an agreement on your own, the health care provider may take things much more seriously if an attorney is advocating on your behalf. Hospitals and other medical facilities are often more than willing to negotiate a plan for payment.
Absent an agreement to hold off on collecting payment, you could try to agree on a payment plan with the facility. However, you need to make sure you can afford to make monthly payments, because if you miss one, the deal may be off.
What About Putting Expenses on a Credit Card?
If you have a credit card, you may think this is a perfect time to use it to get the hospital off your back. However, a payment plan with the hospital will not include interest payments, unlike a credit card. If you are late on credit card payments it will hurt your credit score.
Have Legal Questions? Call TSR Injury Law Today
If you were injured because of someone else, TSR Injury Law is here to help. Give us a call to schedule a free legal consultation so we can learn more about your situation. If we validate your claim, and you hire us, we are prepared to pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.
We are not paid unless we obtain compensation for your damages. There is no risk in contacting our firm to learn more about how we may be able to help you.
Phone: (612) TSR-TIME. No upfront fees.