If you have been injured in a car accident in Florida, then you know that the medical bills continue to roll in for payment. How do you know who should pay them and when these invoices should be paid?
There are several factors to consider that may simplify the process for you and help you to understand how to handle medical bills as they come in following a misfortunate car accident.
Managing The Initial Medical Bills That Come In After An Accident
Unfortunately, you will be responsible for initially managing the medical bills as they come in after your accident. Some bills may be paid immediately through the various coverage options mentioned below while other expenses that are not covered through these methods may get paid after your case is settled. This is why it is so important for your attorney to have access to all of your medical expenses and for you to communicate absolutely everything related to your case with your attorney in confidence. Consistent and detailed communication with your attorney is key to your success.
Typical Sources Used To Cover Medical Expenses
Florida is a no-fault insurance state, meaning that you must carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage that will cover a maximum of $10,000 in personal injury protection benefits; regardless of who is at fault in the accident. It is important to note that PIP will only cover expenses from treatments that occur within the first 14 days after the accident. For more information on PIP insurance see our article; Understanding Personal Injury Protection (PIP).
Medical Pay Insurance (Med-Pay) is optional in Florida, but it is another method of covering medical bill costs as they come in following an auto accident. Most drivers in Florida do not carry Med-Pay. Most often, Med-Pay covers the 20% co-pay that is not paid by the personal injury protection insurance.
Your own personal health insurance will come in to play to cover any expenses that go beyond the amount that is covered through your no fault insurance coverage.
Medicare & Medicaid:
If you receive your health insurance through Medicare or Medicaid, they will cover your medical expenses as they come in, but it is important to note that they are entitled to reimbursement for the expenses related to an auto accident if you make a recovery. This is referred to as Subrogation.
If you are injured in an auto accident on the job, then the worker’s compensation insurance of your employer is responsible for covering the expenses of your medical bills.
Important Information About Managing Your Healthcare And Medical Expenses After An Accident
Medical bills following an auto accident can quickly become cumbersome, especially if an ambulance is involved or you need to obtain treatment from several different medical specialists.
It is critical to receive medical treatment as soon as possible following an accident for many reasons aside from your own personal health benefit. It is important to communicate immediately with your personal injury attorney so that they are able to track your medical expenses. It is also very important to reject money offered from anyone involved in the car accident, such as insurance companies, without consulting your attorney first. Accepting this money can ultimately result in a loss for you.
Your attorney can assist you in avoiding subrogation where you may be compensated twice for the injury from different insurers and end up owing money back. Your attorney is there to protect you throughout this whole process.
How To Protect Yourself
Although your attorney is keeping track of your medical treatments and bills for your legal case, they are not responsible for paying your bills. If the settlement is taking time, it is your responsibility to contact the billing companies and work with them explaining that you are involved in an auto accident case, and ask for an extended time for payment so that your bills do not go in to collections while the case is ongoing. In most cases, the companies will work with you. If you come in to a bind, be sure to speak to your attorney about next steps to protect your credit while your case is ongoing.
If you have been injured after an auto accident in Florida, please contact an experienced accident attorney at David & Philpot to help you through the recovery process. David & Philpot, P.L. has been representing accident victims for over 20 years. We’ve recovered millions of dollars for our clients and are here to help you. Contact us today at 800.360.7015 for a free consultation.