Do I Have To Pay Out-of-Pocket After a Car Accident?
Posted in Personal Injury on April 1, 2023
If you or somebody you love has been injured in a vehicle accident caused by the negligence of another party, you should be able to recover compensation for your losses. However, receiving compensation through an insurance settlement or as a result of a personal injury jury verdict can take time, but you need to pay your medical bills relatively quickly after the incident occurs. Here, our Seattle personal injury lawyers want to discuss how medical bills get paid in the immediate aftermath of a car accident in Washington.
Why should you have to pay anything out of pocket if Washington mandates all drivers carry a certain amount of insurance?
The reality is that, even if the other driver does have insurance, it will take some time for the claim to resolve. Individuals who sustain any type of injury in a vehicle accident must seek prompt medical care, which means they will start receiving bills in the mail soon after the incident occurs. These bills will come in, and payment typically must be made before an insurance settlement even occurs. Additionally, if there is any dispute over paying compensation, or if the case drags on to a personal injury lawsuit, that equates to a significant amount of time where individuals do not have any money coming in to pay for their accident expenses.
Unfortunately, this often means individuals pay out of their own pocket for vehicle accident expenses. In the event individuals do carry some type of personal injury protection insurance through their auto insurance policy, they can turn to that for some compensation, at least up to their policy limits.
Using Personal Health Insurance
Individuals may need to turn to their personal health insurance to receive compensation after an accident occurs. Yes, we understand that not everybody has health insurance, so this may not be an option. For those who do have personal health insurance, it is important to understand that the personal insurance carrier will likely seek reimbursement for all expenses they have paid once the insurance settlement comes in or after you secure compensation through a personal injury jury verdict.
Asking Doctors to Expect Payment Later
In some situations, it may be possible to ask a medical professional or the overall healthcare facility or agency to continue to provide medical treatment with the understanding that they will receive compensation after there has been a successful insurance settlement or jury verdict.
This can be rather challenging to ask for, and individuals almost always need to be working with an attorney before asking. A skilled car accident lawyer in Washington can approach the medical providers on behalf of their client and ask them to continue treatment until a payment can be made. In these cases, the medical provider may place a medical lien on the eventual settlement or jury verdict with the understanding that they get paid immediately once the settlement comes in.
Working With a Lawyer
We encourage you to reach out to a skilled car accident lawyer in Seattle if you have any questions about how to cover your expenses while awaiting a settlement or jury verdict. When you have an attorney by your side, you increase the chances of recovering the compensation you need to get through this.