Things move very quickly after a car accident. Once you are released from the hospital, you can go home and try to put the whole experience behind you. Unfortunately, leaving the hospital is not the end of it.
Soon the bills from the hospital will be arriving in your mailbox. Considering all of your other concerns, paying your medical bills is just one responsibility added to the pile. If you were not at fault for the accident, the insurance company will eventually pay your medical bills. However, this will not happen until the case is settled or taken to trial. Sometimes your case is not resolved until months, or even years, after you left the hospital, and those medical bills will not wait.
Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to resolve your medical bills without draining your savings account.
Step One: Inquire About Your MedPay Coverage
If you have a good insurance policy, you might have some MedPay coverage that will cover your medical bills after an accident. If the accident was not your fault, you should not have much difficulty getting your insurance company to pay out the medical bills. You pay the premium after all.
Step Two: Submit Your Bills To Your Health Insurance Company
More than likely the hospital will have your health insurance information. Depending on your policy, the health insurance company will pay all or a portion of your medical bills. However, be aware of subrogation. Subrogation is the right for an insurer to pursue a third party that caused an insurance loss to the insured. What this means in plain English is that your health insurance is entitled to reimbursement for their contribution to your medical bills. Check your health insurance policy for a subrogation clause. You may be surprised to find you have to reimburse them for the medical bills once your case settles.
Step Three: Contact The Hospital To Work Out A Payment Plan
Some, but not all, hospitals are open to taking payments for large medical bills. They have experience with patients who are filing a claim for a car accident, so they might be understanding and accept small monthly payments to avoid sending the debt to collections.
Eventually, if the case settles in your favor, the person who caused the accident will be responsible for your medical bills and reimbursement to your insurance company. But between then and now you cannot allow your bills to go to collections. This will very negatively affect your credit rating and cause lasting damage to your credit report.
If you have any questions about your accident, you can download a FREE copy of our book - The South Dakota Automobile Accident Handbook - from our website. You can also contact our office at (605) 286-3218.