One of the most common misconceptions of car accident victims is that the at-fault car insurance company should be paying medical bills as they are incurred. Unfortunately, while the at-fault insurance company is ultimately responsible for your damages, including medical bills, they do not have to “pay as you go.”
The At-Fault Insurance Company Doesn’t Have To Pay As You Go:
For car accident cases in Louisiana, there are usually two different claims involved: (1) the property damage claim, which includes damage to your vehicle; and (2) the injury claim, which involves damage to you, including your medical bills.
For the property damage claim, the at-fault insurance company is legally required to adjust your claim and pay for property damages within a certain amount of time after they are presented with adequate proof of loss.
For your injury claim, while the at-fault insurance company may ultimately be responsible for your medical bills, they are not legally required to pay them as they come in. Instead, they are usually interested in settling all of your injury claims, including medical expenses and general damages, all at once.
Don’t List The At-Fault Insurance Company As The Responsible Party At The ER:
It is not uncommon for our clients to report that they listed the other person’s auto insurance as the responsible party for payment at the Hospital Emergency Room. This is a mistake. First, the hospital (or any medical provider) has no right (or way) to bill the other person’s auto insurer directly for your bill. While the accident may not be your fault, you are responsible for any medical bills stemming from it.
Use Your Health Insurance:
It is a good idea to use your health insurance following a car accident, as doing so will reduce the amount of your medical obligations. If you don’t use your health insurance, medical providers may try to bill the entire medical bill directly to you and it will remain your responsibility, even if you are the victim of a wreck.
By using your health insurance, you enjoy the benefit of contracted discounts and should only be responsible for your deductibles or copays. However, it is important to know that the health insurer has the right to reimbursement in the event you settle your auto wreck case with the at-fault insurance company. Therefore, it is important to keep your health insurance company updated on the status of your auto claim. It is also important to understand the ins and outs of your health insurance company’s right to reimbursement.
The At-Fault Insurance Company Is Ultimately Responsible:
Once our client has recovered from their injuries, we gather all of their medical records and medical bills. Their medical bills become part of their personal injury claim and are factored in when negotiating a settlement with the at-fault insurance company.
Once a settlement is finalized, a portion of the settlement funds are used to pay any remaining medical bills and, if applicable, to reimburse our client’s health insurer. At Flattmann Law, we always provide our clients with a detailed breakdown of how settlement proceeds will be distributed, PRIOR to a settlement being finalized. That way, there are no surprises.
Have You Been Injured In An Accident And Have Questions About Big Medical Bills?
If you have been injured and have questions about big medical bills following an accident, contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Madisonville, Goodbee, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.