How Are Medical Bills Paid After Car Accident?
Automobile Accidents - April 19, 2021
Victims of car accidents often have to deal with significant medical expenses in the aftermath of the incident. While it is crucial for crash victims to obtain medical care for all of their injuries, this can also be incredibly stressful, particularly as the bills for medical services start coming in. Here, we want to discuss how medical bills are paid after a car accident occurs. Unfortunately, this is not always as easy as asking an insurance carrier for compensation right after a crash occurs. It can take months or even years for a car accident insurance settlement to come through, and having a car accident attorney on your side can help speed up the process.
So how does a crash victim pay their medical bills in the meantime?
Paying Medical Bills Immediately Following a Car Accident
When a person sustains an injury in a car accident caused by another driver, the reality is that they will not be able to secure immediate compensation from the at-fault driver. There could be a gap between when the crash occurs and when an insurance settlement is reached. During this gap, the injury victim is responsible for covering their medical expense.
There are various ways that a crash victim could go about paying these bills. In some cases, they may have to pay for these expenses out of their own pocket. If the crash victim has personal health insurance, they may be able to use this coverage until they receive a settlement. However, the insurance carrier will likely be responsible for repayment through subrogation so they can recuperate their costs out of any eventual settlement or jury verdict.
Additionally, there are some medical providers who will render the treatment necessary if they are guaranteed payment through an eventual settlement or verdict. In these cases, the medical provider will likely establish a medical lien in order to guarantee payment.
A Settlement From the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance
In the aftermath of an accident, there will be an investigation into what happened. If another driver caused a crash, their insurance carrier should be responsible for paying the medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses of the injury victim. In some cases, the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier will pay a settlement in as little as a few weeks to a month after the incident. However, if there is any dispute over fault for the incident or how much money should be paid, an insurance settlement could take some time to be reached.
If the insurance carrier of the at-fault party refuses to offer a fair settlement or denies a claim, it may be necessary for the crash victim to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to recover the compensation they need for their medical bills.
What if Both Drivers Are At-Fault?
Securing compensation can become even more complicated if more than one driver was at fault for the incident. The good news is that Illinois operates under a “modified comparative negligence” system. This means that a person can still recover compensation even if they are partially at fault, so long as they are not 51% or more responsible for the incident. However, the total amount of compensation a person is awarded will be reduced based on their percentage of fault. This can affect the overall compensation that a person receives.