Are you in the hospital after an accident and beginning to wonder who will pay for everything? If your friend says to wait for the insurance check instead of paying the bill up front, you need to step back and take in the entire situation. While insurance will help in the long run, that payment can take months to arrive, negatively impacting your credit score and bank account.
First Things First: Take Care of You
Before you worry about who is going to pay for your injuries, accept medical assistance at the scene or as soon as you feel that something just isn't right. If it is a simple broken bone or perhaps a cut that needs stitching, you will be able to get on with life when the injury is addressed as soon as possible. That leaves you in a better position to tackle the job of being properly compensated.
Put Your Medical Insurance Card to Work
Even if the other guy was clearly at fault, it takes time for insurance companies to decide just who is footing the bill for the disaster. For this reason, if you have any kind of health insurance, pull out your card and put your co-pays to work. For a minimal financial impact, you can visit the emergency room, receive medications, and be able to fill prescriptions. Those slow insurance companies can fight it out among themselves if your health insurance wants to be compensated for the costs associated with this incident.
Keeping Track of All of Your Accident-Related Expenses
Once you are past the shock of the accident and have received the initial medical care, it is time to get serious about tracking your expenses. It isn't just about the bill for the x-ray, lab tests, and ambulance. If this was really not your fault, you will want to jot down lost hours at work, ride share expenses, rental cars, and daycare expenses. The more that you document, the easier it is to be properly reimbursed by insurance or the other party.
Pay Your Way as Best You Can
If you are able to cover these added expenses out-of-pocket, it is best for your finances now and in the future. The bill collectors really do not care if you are waiting to receive a check and each delay will harm your credit. Bad credit can result in the loss of a job opportunity or being declined for a loan. However, if you are faced with the choice of paying for your accident bills or putting food on the table, opt for the food every single time.
Consulting with Your Providers, Insurance Claims Department, and an Attorney
When you begin to collect all the bills and start the process of filing claims, you need to be as open and upfront as possible with your doctors, rehab facility, employer, and the insurance company. If you are feeling overwhelmed by all the details, a personal injury attorney can help take some of the burden off your shoulders. In a Worker's Compensation claim, most of the bills should never be sent to you. You need somebody that fully understands the situation on your side.
Negotiating Your Medical Bills and Protecting Your Bank Account
Did you know that hospitals have different rates they charge according to how you expect to pay? Insurance companies have a pre-negotiated cost for every procedure. There is a cash only price. There is yet another one for patients that are on Medicare or other government-funded insurance. Finally, if you have financial challenges, they can often discount your bill by as much as 30%. Did you know that if a personal injury attorney takes the time to review your medical bills
, they can help lower your financial obligation and put more cash in your pocket in the end.
No Energy to Keep Fighting? You need a Team in Your Corner
There is no doubt that if you suffer even a minor permanent injury in a car accident, dealing with the life-changing results can feel debilitating. While you are readjusting how to get to work or take a shower or even cook supper, you don't need the added stress of fighting with your car insurance, health insurance, and their insurance companies. By contacting an attorney, you can get the support you need for little or no out-of-pocket costs up front. Somebody else can make the phone calls for you, leaving you more energy to focus on healing.
Being Tempted with a Quick Offer
Facing a pile of bills is often why many people sign the release and accept a quick check from the insurance company. The problem is that once you sign off on the accident, they will not continue to pay for the rehab, prescriptions, or follow-up appointments that are still on your calendar. When you are trying to decide if you should take the cash and clear your current bills or hold out for a fairer reimbursement, pick up the phone and contact an attorney experienced in representing personal injury claims to review your medical bills. It could ultimately result in thousands more in your account.