If you have been injured in an accident, there is a good chance that you have incurred hospital bills. Who pays these bills, and how should you handle them if you decide to file a personal injury suit? These are questions that often arise when a victim needs help paying for medical treatment. Dan Gilleon, a personal injury attorney in San Diego, helps victims understand their rights and find ways to pay for medical treatment to care for their injuries.
If you are the victim of an accident and seek medical treatment at a hospital or doctor’s office, there are usually one of two ways that the healthcare provider is paid. First, the provider may take your own health insurance or car insurance information, or both, and file a claim with your insurance company in order to receive immediate payment. If that is the case, your provider may be paid quickly, and then your insurance company will have to subrogate the claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
However, if you have no health or car insurance, you may be faced with footing the bill personally until you can recover compensation from the other party’s insurance company. This means that you could be in danger of having your credit ruined and having collection efforts made against you if you cannot quickly get the money from the other party’s insurance company. This situation often causes victims to settle for far less than they could get in order to pay their healthcare bills on time.
If your own insurance pays your claim and then subrogates, you should be very careful in settlement and be sure you know the amounts your company pays on your behalf. This is because many personal injury victims have been caught in a sticky situation when they settle a claim only to find that their own insurance company deeply discounted their hospital or doctor’s bill.
Normally, hospitals and doctors charge a set amount for services but offer substantial discounts to HMOs and insurance companies in order to attract their business. This agreed-upon cost may be a fraction of the actual cost of treatment, but the volume of work they receive helps the providers offset the losses. However if you have been injured and your provider has received only a small percentage of payment from your insurance company, it is likely that the provider will go after the entire amount of the bill when you settle your claim. Therefore, you must include this figure in your settlement.
For more information on settling personal injury claims, contact Dan Gilleon in San Diego.