Bills don’t wait
Months after a auto accident, you may still be in the process of being put back together… You should be focusing on your health, not worried about the escalating costs of medical care.
There are ambulance invoices, the hospital bills, bills from the physician(s) who treated you, perhaps even out-patient rehabilitation bills, not forgetting the cost of medical equipment you needed for therapy.
You might have already received some of these bills in the mail. You may even have received the accompanying calls from the creditors.
How do you go about getting accounts, managing payments and getting your insurance company to pay some or all of these bills?
Case 1: You have been cleared of all fault in the accident
If you have been cleared of all fault in the accident, you may look to the other parties’ insurance carrier to have some or all your bills paid.
Most people have at least the minimum of $30,000 in state mandated third party insurance. However, in many instances, this will only partially cover your health care expenses and leaves no room to compensate you for lost income or even the pain you experienced during and after the accident.
When you have exhausted third party insurance, know that you may file suit against the faulting party to recover any amounts that insurance did not cover. If the injuring party has some personal wealth, you may be successful in a suite against him or her. However, beware that state laws protect most assets, such as one’s homestead and personal vehicle from creditors.
Case 2: Third party coverage is not available
If third party coverage isn’t adequate, and suing the party at fault for the accident is not an option, you may look to your own insurance coverage to help make you whole.
Check your car insurance policy to see is you have been paying for Personal Injury Protection. If this is the case, it is possible that your auto insurance carrier can make payments on your bills directly when you submit your invoices to them. Often however, the limits to Personal Injury Protection are under $10,000.
On the other hand, you may also have underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage that kicks in when your injuries or damages are greater that which can be covered by the third party at fault. UIM coverage, depending on your policy may be as high, or even greater than third party policy limits, therefore it is an invaluable resource to explore, particularly in accidents causing serious injury.
Get legal help
A competent personal injury attorney can help you explore all the available options for recovery from any source that is available to draw from. He or she may also help you place a hold on your bills being sent to collections and ensure that you have the peace of mind to focus first and foremost, on recovering your health.