One of the first questions people have when they bring an auto accident lawyer in on a case is how medical bills will be paid. A lot of this depends on what options you have in terms of both your auto and medical insurance. Let's take a look at the basics.
Dig Out Your Insurance Policy
The government requires your insurance carrier to provide a copy of your insurance binder at least once a year. Hopefully, you've filed it away. If not, contact your insurance agent and ask for a copy. If you're planning to pay a visit to an auto accident lawyer, bring a copy of your policy so they can read it.
Personal Injury Protection
Sometimes referred to as PIP or MedPay, personal injury protection is a part of your auto insurance policy designed to cover medical bills. It's common for plaintiffs to file claims through their own PIP coverage regardless of who they believe might be at fault because this keeps bills from stacking up. Bear in mind, though, that going this route may entitle your insurance company to seek recovery of the amount they pay for medical bills when a settlement or judgment lands.
Your Medical Insurance
Another option is to have your medical bills covered by your medical insurance policy. Just like with the auto insurance company, though, your medical insurance carrier may be able to seek recovery of expenses they paid out. This is a less desirable option, but it's likely better than seeing bills accumulate.
Explain Your Situation to the Hospital and Your Doctor
With the potential for bills to add up, it's important that everyone involved understands that your goal is to pay. Explain to the billing departments for the hospital and your doctors that you're dealing with an auto insurance claim and may need some forbearance. Make sure you get detailed copies of all the bills that are incurred because these will be essential during the process of seeking compensation.
An auto accident lawyer always wants to make sure that all the injuries from an incident have been fully documented. This may require waiting for months to get exams and even surgeries done. The biggest fear every injury attorney has is that a client will reach a settlement only to discover a new injury. Once a settlement or judgment has been entered, it's very hard to seek more money.