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Who Pays for Medical Bills After an Accident?
After suffering an injury in a car accident, seeking medical treatment is your top priority. Sometimes, these collisions result in serious injuries that require intensive and sometimes lifelong treatment. This medical care can be very expensive and lead to significant financial hardship.
If someone else’s negligent driving caused your accident, he or she is responsible for paying for all of the damages you incur — including medical bills. There are many pathways you can take to recover this compensation.
Do Your Medical Bills Come Out of Your Settlement?
Since Washington is a fault insurance state, all drivers who cause accidents are financially responsible for the damages they cause. You have two options for recovering this compensation: an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. At the conclusion of each pathway, you receive a settlement for the economic and non-economic damages you suffered during the crash. The economic damages refer to your financial losses. such as past and future medical bills.
Sometimes, it can take up to a year to recover the compensation you need to pay for your ongoing treatment. While waiting for your case to conclude, you can use one of the following options to make medical payments.
- Personal injury protection coverage (PIP): This insurance provides funds for medical expenses, regardless of who was responsible for the crash. You will have to purchase PIP coverage in addition to your state-required insurance policy.
- Private health insurance: If you do not have PIP coverage or have exhausted your policy limits, you can use your own health insurance to pay for the medical expenses you incur. However, your health insurance may not cover all of your expenses.
- Medical liens: If you have outstanding medical debt you are unable to pay, you can take out a medical lien. This lien asks the medical providers to hold or delay your billing until your case concludes. You can receive the medical care you need until your case is resolved.
Subrogation After Settlement in Washington
There are many options available to pay for medical expenses before the conclusion of a case. However, you will need to keep a careful record of all of the treatment you received and how you paid for your care, whether through personal funds, private insurance coverage, or liens. These documents provide important evidence for your case and aid in the subrogation process.
Once you reach a settlement, the court will use the funds from your settlement to pay for any outstanding medical bills you have. You will also need to pay for the costs that your insurance company has paid for up until the point where you reach your settlement. The remaining funds will go to your non-economic pain and suffering damages and additional economic expenses, such as future medical care, property damage, and lost wages.
Do You Need a Lawyer?
Navigating the personal injury litigation process can be confusing, especially when medical payments are involved. You may not know which option is right for your case and be unsure how to prepare for each stage.
Hiring an attorney to represent your best interests can help streamline this process. Your Seattle personal injury lawyer can explain each medical payment option to you and help you seek the care you need. Your attorney can also help collect and document the evidence necessary to prove your right to compensation. Contact your lawyer as soon as possible following your accident to begin this process.