• POSTED: May 15, 2019
  • POSTED BY: TheChoyceLawFirm


Sacramento Auto Accident Attorney

Unfortunately, car accidents are very common in the US

Luckily, they mostly result in property damage, a dent or a broken taillight. While these claims can be quite a headache, they are processed relatively simply but make sure to speak to a Sacramento auto accident attorney who can explain how to handle these inconvenient medical bills.

In the unfortunate incidence that a car collision resulted in physical injury, litigation can be much more complicated and require a time-consuming investigation and a longer process. What do you do in the meantime if you incurred an injury? How do you pay for the medical costs? Bills can pile up quickly and figuring out how to pay for them can be difficult. It’s tempting to take the first settlement offer because you need to pay your medical bills, but you may be taking an offer that’s less than you deserve. Some injuries don’t become apparent until later and if you have already accepted a low settlement, you’ll have no way of getting later medical bills covered.

This article aims to provide information about how to cope with medical bills after a car accident while the legal process is proceeding. A Sacramento auto accident attorney can be your best source of help in these situations.

So What are My Options?

There are several ways to cover the upfront cost of medical care. Unforeseen medical costs are very stressful, but you should never compromise your health because you’re unsure how to pay the fees. Below is a list of some options that may be available.

  • Medical Payments/No Fault Coverage – Also, referred to as “med pay”, no fault coverage is optional coverage that an individual may opt into when choosing a car insurance policy. With this type of coverage, the insurance company will pay for medical costs no matter whose fault it is. There is a wide range of policies available, but often have a limit of $5,000. It’s best to speak to a Sacramento auto accident attorney or your insurance company to understand the specifics of your coverage.
  • Health Insurance – If an employer provides health insurance coverage, or you seek it independently, this may cover some of the necessary treatment. Using health insurance to pay for the upfront costs can help alleviate stress and allow you to get the treatment you need while a Sacramento auto accident attorney can help finalize the legal aspects. Keep in mind there is a duty to pay them back but if the case settles in your favor, you may get enough compensation pay them back.
  • Medicare/Medicaid – They typically will pay for treatment but can are generally more aggressive in being repaid.
  • Signing a Lien – Signing a lien means postponing payment until the end of a case. Many doctors and health facilities will agree to a lien and treat you without immediate pay. However, if you lose the case or decide not to proceed, you will still owe whatever medical costs you incurred.
  • Out of pocket – If you have no other way to pay for bills, and the doctor will not sign a lien, then you may have to pay for the bills out of your own pocket, and hope for a quick settlement from the help of your Sacramento auto accident attorney.

Individuals injured in a car collision are ultimately responsible for their medical bills. It is impossible to know whether a settlement will be reached or if that settlement will cover most or all of the medical bills incurred.

Paying it Back.

So what happens when the litigation is over and you’ve reached a settlement. What do you do now? This is a complicated issue and depends on each situation. Below is an outline of what may be required after a settlement is reached.

Your health insurance covered medical treatment. Do you have to reimburse them?

Typically, yes. If you win your case and receive compensation, you need to reimburse your insurance company. If you did not, you received free medical care and received funds from the defendant specifically to pay for your medical care. You would essentially be given the cost of your care twice.

How much are you required to pay your health insurance company?

This is a very complicated question that is impossible to answer as it depends so much on the circumstances. The short answer is that in California, insurance companies are repaid based on the amount of settlement. So if the injured party receives only 30% of the funds necessary to pay back the medical bills, that is how much the insurance company is entitled to.This depends on several factors, such as the language in the injured party’s health plan, whether they receive their health insurance through their employer, how the health plan is actually paid for if through the employer, etc.

Typically, companies or groups that have covered an injured individual, such as in with a lien, can be negotiated with. They may not required to be repaid in full given certain circumstances, such as to compensate for attorney’s fees, additional damages, hardships, future medical costs, etc.

Preparing for Settlements

In order to be prepared for settlement discussions or litigation, it is important to keep track of all medical expenses and provide necessary paperwork to your Sacramento auto accident attorney. This will help ensure you receive appropriate compensation. Keep track of anything related to your injury and recovery, including:

  • Ambulance fees
  • Hospital fees
  • Surgery
  • Medication (prescription and over-the-counter)
  • X-ray fees and other tests
  • Physical therapy
  • Transportation costs.

Also be sure to take notes on pain levels and take pictures or videos when possible.

Call a Sacramento Auto Accident Attorney For Help

One of the best things you can do to protect yourself from being taken advantage of is to get legal representation. A knowledgeable Sacramento auto accident attorney at The Choyce Law Firm has years of legal experience handling auto accident settlement claims with insurance companies. We understand the complex laws and procedures will fight on your behalf and can considerably help you get the compensation you deserve. Give us a call at (916) 306-0636 to speak to a Sacramento accident attorney who can handle your case and take the burden off your hands.