The days and weeks after a car crash can be incredibly stressful. You’re going to have questions about your injuries, your car, and most importantly, how to get everything back to normal. Usually, the car insurance for the at-fault driver will call you and promise that they will “take care of everything” and to “send the bills” in for them to pay. It’s just what you need to hear.
The problem is, the insurance company knows it’s just what you need to hear. The insurance adjuster isn’t going to tell you that the medical bills you submit likely won’t be paid until after you sign a release. This means that if your medical care goes on for months, your bills will be left unpaid and your doctors will be left unhappy. This is where health insurance should be used to cover your medical bills. By doing so, you’ll prevent the added stress of unpaid medical bills and, with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney, likely receive more money from any settlement with the car insurance company.
Even if your health insurance pays your medical bills, the at-fault driver’s car insurance will still need to include the value of those medical bills in any settlement offer. After receiving a lump sum settlement, you will just need to reimburse your health insurance the amount they paid in medical bills. However, your attorney will explain that the amount your health insurance paid will usually be less than the total amount of your bills because of contractual discounts and adjustments between your health insurance and your doctors. Additionally, your attorney might be able to negotiate an extra reduction to your health insurance’s reimbursement, saving you more money. Car insurance companies typically do not have contractual discounts or adjustments with medical providers, and will instead pay the full value of the medical bills.
As an example, assume your emergency room visit costs $5,000. If you submit that bill to the at-fault driver’s insurance, they will first need to decide if they are going accept responsibility for the crash and your injuries. If they do accept responsibility, they will next need to decide if that bill is “reasonable” and not an over-charge. If they agree that the bill is reasonable, then they will pay the $5,000 bill.
However, if you’re represented by the Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid and have the $5,000 medical bill submitted to your health insurance, it’s likely your health insurance will only need to pay a portion of that bill and discount the remaining balance. For example, assume your health insurance paid $3,000 of the $5,000 bill and discounted the $2,000 difference. Your attorney could then get a settlement based on the $5,000 bill, but only need to reimburse your health insurance $3,000. Next, your attorney may be able to negotiate with your health insurance and get an additional reduction off the $3,000 reimbursement, sometimes up to one-third. This means that you may only need to reimburse your health insurance $2,000 from your settlement, compared to paying the full $5,000 without using health insurance.
By hiring an attorney and using your health insurance as much as possible, you won’t need to worry about unpaid medical bills while you’re getting better. Additionally, your attorney will be able to protect you and recover the highest compensation possible for your injuries.
For more information on how to handle your medical bills after a car crash, please contact the Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid. Our experienced attorneys will be able to discuss the details of your case at a free consultation. The Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid continues to handle all types of car accident, motorcycle accident, truck accident, wrongful death, and other personal injury cases for clients throughout the Chicagoland area.