How should I handle my medical bills when I have a pending personal injury case?
If you have health insurance:
If you have health insurance, you should provide your insurance information to all healthcare providers you see related to your personal injury case. If you still receive bills from some providers, you need to submit all billing you receive related to case to your health insurance company for payment.
If you do not have health insurance:
If you do not have health insurance, or there are portions of your medical bills that are not paid by your health insurance, those bills will need to be paid out of the settlement in your case. You should be sure to either keep an organized file with these bills, or provide them to your personal injury attorney to do so.
If you have medical payments coverage on your auto or motorcycle policy:
If you carry medical payments (“med-pay”) coverage on your automobile policy (med-pay is coverage on your auto or motorcycle policy – which may cover you even if you were a pedestrian or on your bicycle in the accident for which you have a personal injury claim), med-pay usually pays up front (you do not have to wait until the close of your case) for some of your medical costs.
If you do not have either health insurance or med-pay coverage:
However, if you do not have health insurance or med-pay coverage, there may be no immediate method to pay medical bills as they are incurred (other than cash, which you may not have.) Therefore, you will likely have some bill collectors contact you for payment of bills related to your case. If they do contact you, immediately forward their bills, correspondence and contact information to your attorney. Hopefully, your attorney (like we do in our office) will call and try to convince the medical provider or collection agency to put the collection efforts on hold until the final resolution of your case. The medical provider may put what is called a “lien” on your case and wait to be paid out of the final settlement or judgment proceeds from your case. If that is not possible, you or your lawyer should be able to work out a reduction for immediate payment or a payment plan.
Paying outstanding personal injury bills at the close of the case:
At the end of our cases, we aggressively negotiate our client’s medical bills (working to get discounts and reductions for them) and then we pay all outstanding bills (which we hopefully reduced) out of the settlement. We do not leave our clients with bills hanging over their heads after the case is closed. We love for our clients to walk away from the case free and clear.