During a personal injury claim, your hope is that you will receive compensation for any past and future medical expenses. While you wait, you need funds to pay for those bills. Luckily, you do have options. In most cases, you can defer payments until your case settles, and most providers as well as hospitals have been in these situations enough to know that they can wait for a settlement.
Being in the middle of an injury claim is highly stressful, and the last thing you need to worry about is the medical expenses sitting in front of you while you try to recover from your injuries. Some claims can take months – if not years – to resolve themselves. So, how do you pay for the growing number of medical expenses when you cannot work, and you are waiting for a settlement?
Paying for Medical Expenses during an Injury Lawsuit – You Have Options
You can still pay your medical bills while you have a pending injury lawsuit. One of the best ways to do so is to speak with your medical providers, the hospitals, and other agencies that send you these bills and create an arrangement. Let them know that you would like to defer payments until you receive your settlement. In most cases, these providers will do so.
Using Your PIP Insurance
The first option you have, and the first you must use, is your Personal Injury Protection insurance (PIP). All motorists in the state are required to have at least basic PIP coverage, which is up to $10,000 per person per accident for medical expenses and lost wages. Before you can use other reimbursement methods, you must first exhaust your PIP coverage.
Signing a Letter of Promise
Most healthcare providers will allow you to defer payments, but it will not be an oral agreement. Instead, you will need a formal agreement that involves signing paperwork. These letters of promise are between you and the healthcare provider – whether it is a hospital, clinic, specialist, or your family care provider. The agreement states that the provider is offering care upfront, and without payment, in return for receiving payment after your case settles in court (or during private negotiations).
You agree to pay the provider in full for any outstanding medical balances once you receive your settlement when you sign this form. Do not think that once you get payment, you can skip out on paying those providers. They will have those signed forms, and they can seek collections based on the broken agreement. Therefore, make sure you speak with your attorney prior to signing these forms, and have them review the terms and conditions carefully to make sure you are not signing something you should not.
When providers will not allow a letter of promise, you still have alternatives.
Using Your Health Insurance
If you have health insurance, you can use that insurance coverage to pay for medical costs while you wait for an official settlement in your case. Your health insurance provider will pay up to your policy limits, but you will still be responsible for any deductibles or copays as part of your policy.
If you do have a pending personal injury lawsuit, you should note that your health insurance company may file a lien against your settlement. That is because they will want reimbursement for any medical costs they cover as part of the accident. Therefore, they will pay for those costs, but then your attorney will be required to take funds from your settlement to pay them back afterward.
Health insurance is the most common way accident victims pay for their medical expenses while they wait for their settlement.
Using Your Vehicle Insurance’s MedPay
If you have medical payments on your auto insurance policy, and your injuries are from a motor vehicle accident, then you may be able to use the medical payment coverage from your policy to cover medical expenses. Just like health insurance, your medical payment coverage may request reimbursement once you receive a settlement.
What If You Don’t Have Insurance and Cannot Pay?
If you do not have medical coverage on your auto insurance, or you have no health insurance, the best option is to speak with your attorney. Your attorney can negotiate with your healthcare providers to ensure that your treatment is not paused or affected while you wait for an injury settlement.
Everyone deserves care, and when you are suffering serious injuries from an accident that was not your fault, you should not have to shoulder the financial burden alone.
How Long Does It Take to Receive a Settlement?
In most personal injury claims, settlements take six months to one year. These, however, are uncomplicated cases that are able to resolve in private negotiations and sometimes trials. If you have a prolonged trial or complicated claim, it may take longer. Regardless, you do not have to worry about filing for bankruptcy, taking out loans, or fearing that you will lose your home over medical expenses.
Your attorney will fight quickly to resolve your case and get the compensation you deserve, but they also will make sure healthcare providers work with you to get you the care you need and not force you into a dire financial situation just to pay them.
If your healthcare provider is unwilling to work with you, or you fear that you cannot pay your medical bills, it may be time to start the claim process. The sooner you file your personal injury lawsuit, the sooner your attorney can work toward getting you the settlement you deserve.
Speak with an Attorney Today
If you or a loved one was seriously injured, do not wait until you are facing insurmountable amounts of medical expenses to file a personal injury lawsuit. When someone else’s negligence leads to your serious injury, you have the right to seek compensation from that party.
An attorney can help you file an injury lawsuit against the at-fault party and not only receive compensation for your medical expenses, but for your lost wages, physical pain, and even mental suffering.
To get started, schedule your case evaluation with the Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC. Attorney Seth Gladstein understands how stressful it can be to face thousands in medical expenses after a serious accident, and he can help you and your loved ones recover the compensation you deserve.
Schedule a free case evaluation by calling the office or request more information online.