Who Will Pay My Medical Bills in a Personal Injury Case?
December 1, 2021
A personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia can help you get your medical bills paid and receive compensation for all your losses in a personal injury case.
Payment of your medical bills resulting from an accident will be part of any settlement reached in a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit. That includes reimbursement for medical bills already paid and a plan for payment of all future medical treatment that is projected to be necessary.
However, be aware that Pennsylvania personal injury laws are complicated, and insurance companies are out for profit and will try to get you to settle for as little as possible. They often will make you a quick lowball offer in return for signing a release that prevents you from getting anything additional should your injuries worsen and you wind up needing more care.
At this difficult time, when you are trying to recover from your injuries and you may be unable to work, the idea of dealing with insurance companies or filing a lawsuit can be overwhelming. Fortunately, the Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Wapner Newman are here to take the burden off you by handling all investigations, negotiations, and legal hurdles involved with getting you the compensation you deserve for your medical bills and other damages suffered.
Our Philadelphia personal injury attorneys know how to deal with insurance company adjusters and their lawyers. We have a good idea what your case is worth and can effectively investigate what happened, gather evidence to prove your case, negotiate for a fair settlement, and take your case to court if an agreement is not made.
We serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. There are no fees to you unless and until we win your case, so call us today at (215) 569-0900 to determine the best way to move forward with your personal injury case.
How do Insurance Companies Pay Medical Bills?
After a personal injury where there is insurance available, how insurance companies pay medical bills depends on the type and circumstances of the accident, as well as the type of insurance. Common types of accidents leading to personal injury claims include vehicle accidents, slips and falls, product liability, medical malpractice, dog bites, and work injuries.
For injuries not sustained in a motor vehicle accident, you may receive payment for medical bills through the negligent party’s insurance policy or you may file a personal injury lawsuit. For example, if you were injured in a Pennsylvania slip-and-fall accident on someone else’s property, the premises owner may carry a medical benefit called “MEDPAY Insurance” which will pay your medical bills up to the amount of the policy. If you have been injured by medical malpractice, it’s important to seek guidance from a medical malpractice attorney. The at-fault doctor may have medical malpractice insurance and assets that can go toward a settlement that includes payment of your bills.
Will the Insurance Company Send Me a Check for My Bills?
If there is insurance covering the accident, the insurance company will usually prefer to pay you a settlement amount in return for your agreement not to pursue a lawsuit in court. This benefits them by saving them the costs of defending the case in court, because when cases go to trial, they cannot predict the results. While a jury could absolve the defendant and its insurer of liability, juries can also award large settlements that, depending on the circumstances, can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars.
If you come to a settlement agreement with the insurance company, it will usually just write a check for the agreed-upon amount. You then sign a release that absolves the insurer and the defendant of any further liability in connection with the incident that gave rise to your claim.
Be aware that if an insurance company pays you compensation for medical bills that have already been paid, your health insurance provider may have a lien on part of your settlement if it has already paid some or all of the bills that you later get compensated for. Many health insurance policies are written so they allow the insurance company to be repaid for the amount paid out in medical bills if the insured person gets a personal injury settlement.
If the defendant who caused your injuries had no insurance, it becomes more complicated. Even if you’ve received a judgment in your favor at a trial that states the defendant must pay you a certain amount in damages, the defendant would have to have enough assets in order for your bills to get paid. You should talk to your attorney about the best way to handle your individual situation.
Do Car Insurance Companies Pay Medical Bills Directly?
If the injury was caused in a motor vehicle accident in Pennsylvania, there is a priority order for who is responsible to pay your medical bills. Pennsylvania has a “No Fault” law for medical payments. According to Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law, Title 75, you first seek payment for medical coverage from your own insurance company. Your insurance company will pay up to the limits of your coverage for medical bills, and after that your health insurance would pay. Your health insurance may seek to get repaid for medical bills if you get a settlement from the at-fault insurance company.
If you don’t own a car, you may be entitled to medical coverage if you live with a family member who has car insurance, or under the medical coverage of the car in which you were in when the accident happened, or from the at-fault vehicle’s coverage if you were hit as a pedestrian. If the other driver in the accident was at fault, you may be able to get payment for your bills if you bring a personal injury case against them if you can prove negligence. You may also get bills paid by your Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist coverage if the driver is without insurance.
If you are a driver who has chosen full tort insurance, you can go beyond the limitations of no-fault and file a lawsuit against the insured to receive compensation. In addition to having your medical expenses and other costs such as lost wages and property damage paid, you may also receive compensation for non-monetary damages like pain and suffering. You may also be able to sue if you have suffered a “serious injury,” such as one that is disabling or disfiguring.
Be aware that Pennsylvania has a “modified comparative negligence rule.” Under statute 42-7102, if you did something to contribute to the accident, compensation is reduced by an amount equal to your percentage of fault. However, as long as you are not more than 50 percent at fault, our attorneys can help you win a settlement for the percentage that the other parties were at fault.
In addition, there are time limits for filing. In Pennsylvania, according to 42 Pa. Con. Stat. Ann. section 5524, there is a statute of limitations or time limit of two years from the date of an injury to file a lawsuit in the state’s civil court system. You must file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs out or the court will likely refuse to hear your case.
Call Our Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorney for Help with Your Case
Our Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at Wapner Newman know that after a serious personal injury, you have emotional issues and major fears and worries in addition to wondering how your medical bills will be paid. We are here to answer your questions and are fully prepared to fight for the settlement you deserve so you can go on to rebuild your life.
There are no fees to you unless and until we win a settlement for you, so if you or a loved one has been injured in the Philadelphia area of Pennsylvania, or anywhere in the state of New Jersey, contact Wapner Newman today to schedule a free consultation by calling (215) 569-0900.