What Happens to Your Medical Bills After a West Palm Beach Car Accident

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If you’re injured in a car accident in West Palm Beach, one of the biggest expenses you’ll probably have is your medical bills. Even if you were in a minor collision, getting the medical treatment you need is crucial — and expensive. If an ambulance arrives on the scene and the EMTs say you need to go to the hospital, that ambulance ride will likely be pretty pricey.

Speak to an Attorney First

Even if you don’t go to the hospital, your doctor may recommend treatments that will burn a hole in your bank account pretty quickly. At Steinger, Greene & Feiner, our car wreck attorneys know how much your medical bills can weigh you down. We can help you get the compensation you need quickly to cover these and other losses so you can focus on recovering, not your bills. 

There are a few ways you can get compensation for your medical expenses. Some are pretty quick, while others may take time. No matter what steps we need to take, we’ll be by your side. Give us a call at (561) 566-5021 or contact us online to speak with a West Palm Beach car accident lawyer today.

Option 1: Your Car Insurance

You have car insurance for one purpose: to protect you and the other driver in the event of a wreck. Under Florida law, you’re required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) as part of your insurance policy. Under PIP, you are automatically entitled to up to $10,000 to cover your medical bills. It doesn’t matter who is at fault for the wreck.

However, PIP will only cover up to 80% of your medical expenses. If you have $10,000 in medical bills, you would only receive $8,000 from your PIP policy. Also, if the treatment you receive is considered “non-emergency,” you are only entitled to $2,500 in compensation. PIP also doesn’t cover some treatments, namely alternative treatments like acupuncture.

If you are found at fault for the accident, you may not be able to get much else from your insurance company. However, if the other driver is at fault, you can file a claim with their insurance company to get compensated for your bills. If the other driver doesn’t have insurance (or doesn’t have enough to cover your losses), you may be able to get compensation through your own uninsured/underinsured driver coverage, provided that’s part of your policy.

Before you deal with any auto insurer, make sure to get the counsel of a West Palm Beach car accident lawyer. Otherwise, the insurer may twist your words and try to take advantage of you, reducing the amount of compensation they pay you.

Option 2: Health Insurance

Your health insurance policy, private or government, is intended to cover at least part of your medical bills, no matter the reason you’re receiving treatment. This includes treatment for injuries after a car accident. However, you will be required to pay any copays and deductibles that fall outside of PIP coverage.

In many cases, the money you spend out-of-pocket on your medical treatment can be compensated by a claim with the auto insurance company. This is especially true if the other driver is at fault. In addition, you may be compensated for excess costs that you incur above the limits of PIP, such as extensive but non-emergency treatment.

It’s important to note that your health insurance will only cover expenses that are detailed in your policy. So, for instance, if ambulance rides aren’t included in your policy, you will have to pay for that expense out of pocket. If you’re waiting on a settlement from car insurance, you may be able to create a payment plan with the medical provider to make small payments until you get the settlement check.

Also note that if you receive a settlement check from the car insurance company, your health insurance provider may require reimbursement for their losses. A West Palm Beach car accident lawyer can help you sort through all of these issues.

Option 3: Paying Out of Pocket

If you don’t have health insurance, and you were at fault with the accident, you may have to pay for all of your medical bills (outside of PIP coverage) out of pocket. This can be incredibly expensive and is the last resort.

You may also be left in a lurch if the car insurance company won’t give you compensation because fault hasn’t been determined yet, or they are refusing to give you the compensation you deserve. Even if your case is taken to court by an experienced lawyer, it could take months to reach a verdict. During that time, you will still be required to pay your medical bills.

You can often arrange with the healthcare provider to make small payments until you get your check. However, don’t assume you can just blow off your bills until you get paid. If you do, your bills could be sent to collections.

Of course, there are lending options you can take to pay off your medical debts. But taking out a loan or even borrowing from friends or family may not be the best option. Even if you don’t have a settlement check coming, many medical providers will keep your debt in good standing as long as you make small payments each month. Again, make sure you talk to your healthcare provider about your payment options. 

Get the Help You Need and Deserve from a West Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in a wreck, paying for medical treatment is probably the last thing you want to think about. That’s where we come in. At Steinger, Greene & Feiner, our attorneys can help you explore all of your options for your medical bills. We can also take on your case to get you a fair settlement check from the car insurance company as quickly as possible. 

We always offer free, no-obligation consultations, and you never owe us a dime until we win your case. Give us a call at (561) 566-5021 or contact us online to speak with a West Palm Beach car accident lawyer today.