Who pays for my doctors? Will I owe money to my doctors at the end of my case?
- July 27, 2016
When you have been injured in an accident, the insurance company will cover your medical expenses up to the extent of the policy. If the policy has $25,000 worth of medical coverage, they will pay up to this amount for your medical care. At that point, the responsibility of the medical costs becomes that of the victim.
Because it is very rare for the policy covering the accident to cover all of the medical costs, victims of an accident will need to sue for compensation for their financial losses.
What About Medical Care During The Lawsuit Process?
Since the injury victim will require ongoing medical care, most attorneys make arrangements with the medical care providers to continue treatment on their clients while the case is pending. This allows the victim to continue to receive care without any out-of-pocket expense. However, when a settlement is reached, these medical care providers must be paid from the settlement amount.
Many people are under the impression that the insurance company covers all of the expenses of medical care and then provides a settlement amount. This is inaccurate. The insurer will only cover the amounts that they are required to under the terms of the policy. Any additional coverage for medical costs must be sought out in a lawsuit.
The attorney that is handling the case will make all payments to all care providers prior to issuing the final payment to the victim. This ensures that the client is not burdened with the responsibility of paying these bills and that there are not any double charges or additional costs for the victim. The attorney will provide a full accounting to the victim to show the bills that have been paid and the amounts.
Will My Personal Health Insurer Seek Payment?
In some cases, the costs of the injuries are charged to the personal health insurance of the victim. This can occur if the policy limits have been reached and an attorney has not been hired to make financial arrangements with the medical care providers for continued care. Of this happens, it is not unusual for the insurance company to seek repayment for their services from the settlement. However, the insurance company has to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, that their claim for repayment will not further damage the client or cause them harm. Your attorney will be very aggressive about what is repaid to the private health insurer.
It should be noted that government based insurance policies, Medicare and Medicaid, are often more aggressive about seeking repayment for costs associated with an injury caused by negligence. However, the same legal rules apply to these insurers and they must be able to show how repaying their costs will not damage the injury victim for their future care.
What About Medical Care After The Case Has Ended?
As part of the settlement, you have accepted the responsibility for your continued medical care costs. A large portion of your settlement amount takes into account the costs of your future care and provides you with an amount to cover these costs. The cost of future care is determined by the type of injury and anticipated care needs of the injury victim.
Because medical care costs can quickly escalate, it is important for those who have been injured in any type of accident to speak with a personal injury attorney about their rights as a victim. An attorney can secure medical care for the victim that will not cost anything until the case is over. The attorney can also make sure that the insurance company abids by all the terms of their insurance policy and state law to provide you with the necessary medical care to make a recovery from your injuries.