After you’ve been involved in an accident, the first thing that automatically comes into mind is getting medical attention. That intuition is important, after all, health is paramount to all other things that may be happening at the moment. But once you’re taken care of at the hospital, your healthcare provider will soon start sending bills your way. From the ER doctor to the hospital, to the ambulance that brought you, every provider will have been looking for their own share of compensation.
Covering accident medical costs might be an uphill task, especially if you haven’t fully recovered. However, with your Charleston car accident attorney, you can navigate through these times and ensure you get the best medical care without a lot of financial strain.
How Will Medical Bills Get Paid?
Most people when involved in a car accident tend to assume that at-fault driver’s insurance will cover for the hospital costs. That’s entirely not true. In fact, the insurance company will only issue a one-time settlement which usually is reimbursed after the victim has recovered. In between, the victim will have to pay for their own medical bills. So, how will you make partial payments before then?
Another possible settlement of a medical bill is through the Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Though not mandatory, the PIP is a form of coverage used as a form of coverage in automobile insurance policies. It is bound to cover for any out-of-the-pocket expenses that may have been caused due to the accident or through an underinsured motorist coverage. This kind of coverage is only accessible through your own South Carolina insurance policy and does not take into account if you were at fault for the accident.
Since the time it will take for a settlement to be offered, it is important to follow up on your PIP as it can help relieve some of the payments incurred to medical providers. A Personal Injury Protection ranges roughly from $1,000 to 10,000 in some states, but may not be enough to cover for the expenses. On a lighter note, personal injury protection coverage is not subject to assignment and your medical practitioner cannot provide lien on the coverage amount provided.
How Not Having a Personal Injury Protection Coverage Affect A Case
As pointed earlier, a PIP or Medical pay coverage is strict with liability issues which in simpler terms means it doesn’t matter if the person injured was at fault. In this case, your insurance provider should reimburse the medical costs incurred from a loss up to the amount it can cover in that particular coverage or up to the amount it accrues of that particular medical bill. Now, if you don’t have a PIP and this policy becomes unavailable, you can only rely on the general liability policy. In this type of policy, you have to prove that the other party caused the accident, injuries, and is as well responsible for the hospitalization costs for5 compensating the victim. Even if you manage to prove these parameters, the settlements will only be done after a full assessment of all the damages caused by the other party. The damages assessment process is lengthy and you’ll have to clear your medical bills first and then put the costs in a settlement claim.
When Will Hospitalization Costs be Paid?
If you are pursuing your medical costs through a PIP, then the costs might be settled as you receive treatment. That’s because they have fewer processes and do not require you to prove who was wrong during the accident. However, most of the bills not covered by the medical insurance policy will only be settled once the case settles which may take months or longer, depending on the level of bureaucracy needed.
Like most personal injury cases, the settlement process will only commence once:
- The attorney has gathered all accrued medical bills
- The injured party is released from medical treatment
- Records have been forwarded to the insurance company
Making Sure Hospitalization Costs Are Paid
Whenever you receive medical bills, make sure you send a copy to your Charleston car accident attorney. That way, you can monitor your total costs from both ends. Though your attorney will still have access to your medical bills, it is important to send out your own copy as you receive them. Also, share with the attorney the number of appointments you are going to, doctors you are visiting, and so on. When your attorney knows everything, it is easier to make a comprehensive report and submit it to the insurance company.
During this moment, don’t just wait for bills to pile up, especially if you have a settlement case coming up. Your attorney will not be paying these bills out of their pocket. To avoid your bills going to the collection stage, make sure you follow up with your medical facility and inform them of the pending settlement case.
Allowing medical bills to reach the collection stage might affect your credit score badly. Some hospitals will allow you to make partial payments until your case is settled or even put your account on hold until then. All in all, these hospitalization costs remain yours and it is your duty to manage and monitor each and every transaction.
Do You Need A South Carolina Car Accident Attorney?
This process of assessing medical costs is pretty heavy and you’ll need a Charleston Car Accident Attorney to help you through this process. Your attorney will make sure everything is done in the most legal way including making sure your bills are paid accordingly. You’ll still have to monitor everything and make sure you get what’s best for you.
At The Hartman Law Firm, we’ve helped thousands of car accident victims get the full compensation they deserve. The process can be frustrating and sometimes limiting, but we try to take some of the load off our clients. For more insights, please visit our offices to meet our amazing team of attorneys and read all about our services.