How can I get my medical bills paid if I’m in an accident?
One of the most common issues I deal with as a Long Island personal injury lawyer are my client’s medical bills. A visit to the emergency room alone can cost several thousand dollars. A hospital stay can cost tens of thousands of dollars. These types of bills can cause financial ruin if not handled properly.
Fortunately, we know exactly how to deal with medical bills. Often the way your medical treatment gets paid depends on the type of accident that you were involved in.
New York is a no-fault state. That means that if you were a driver, passenger or pedestrian involved in a car collision, your medical bills will be paid for by no-fault insurance. The no-fault carrier will be the insurance carrier of the vehicle that you were operating or a passenger in. If you were a pedestrian, the vehicle that struck you will be the no-fault insurance carrier. The only caveat is that you must complete a no-fault application within thirty days of your accident.
That company will be required to provide a minimum of fifty thousand dollars of coverage. However, it is possible to purchase a higher no-fault limit. The no-fault carrier will pay all of your medical bills until the policy is exhausted or you are deemed better through an Independent Medical Examination.
Once the no-fault policy is exhausted you can then use your primary health insurance to pay any remaining medical bills. Ultimately there may be some medical expenses that are not covered such as co-payments. Those expenses should be included in any claim that you make against the responsible party’s liability insurance policy.
If you are injured while working, your medical bills will be covered by your employers’ workers compensation insurance. If you drive for a living and are injured while working, your employer’s workers compensation insurance will be primary and your employer’s no-fault insurance will be secondary.
If you are injured in an incident that does not involve a car or your employment your private health insurance will be responsible for paying your medical bills. Most private health insurance plans have co-payments. Any out of pocket medical expenses like co-payments should be submitted to the responsible party’s liability insurance carrier as part of any settlement.
Should you have Medicare and not private health insurance then you will have to use that instead. However, Medicare must be reimbursed should you receive financial compensation for your injuries. So, it is important to factor Medicare’s financial interest in your accident claim prior to settling the matter.
As an attorney, I’ve been making sure my client’s medical bills are covered for over two decades. Feel free to call my Long Island personal injury law firm anytime for advice.