Do I Have To Pay Medical Bills From My Settlement?
Posted in Personal Injury on January 18, 2021
If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of somebody else, there is a good chance that you will rack up significant hospital and doctor bills. Medical bills add up quickly, particularly when you factor in emergency services, hospital admittances, any surgeries that are necessary, prescription medications, and follow up care.
You should never have to pay for these costs out-of-pocket if you did not cause your injuries. However, when you receive a personal injury settlement from the at-fault party or an insurance carrier, paying for your medical expenses should be the first thing you consider doing.
Here, we want to discuss why that is the case.
When you may have to pay medical bills out of your settlement
There are various reasons why an injury victim may need to use their personal injury settlement to pay medical bills. If an injury victim does not have health insurance or MedPay (after a car accident), or if they have reached their policy limits while their treatment is ongoing, they may have to obtain a medical lien from their health care providers in order to continue receiving the coverage they need.
Under a medical lien situation, the injury victim will agree to pay the medical provider out of any settlement that they receive in the case. There are many serious implications when it comes to liens, and it is strongly recommended that you work with a skilled personal injury lawyer in Nashville who has experience handling these exact situations.
Additionally, if you need to pay any medical bills out of your own money while you are waiting for a settlement to come in, you will essentially be paying yourself back out of the settlement money. In this scenario, your settlement would be paying your medical bills through the route of paying you back directly.
Make sure all other routes are exhausted
The ideal scenario, if you have been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of somebody else, is to have the at-fault party or their insurance carrier pay for your expenses. Tennessee is a fault-based state when it comes to vehicle accidents and other injury incidents. In other words, if you can prove that another person caused your injuries, their insurance carrier should be responsible for covering your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering losses, property damage expenses, and more.
Additionally, if the insurance carrier does not offer enough to cover your expenses, or if they deny a claim, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit against the alleged negligent party in order to recover the compensation you deserve. In these cases, it may be necessary to go after the personal assets of the negligent party.
Turn to your health insurance
When working to cover your medical costs, your first step should be to turn to your personal insurance carrier. While you may have to pay deductibles, this can help ensure that you stay on top of your bills and avoid any costly debt that could affect your credit score. If your personal injury case settles, your insurance company may then pursue recovery of their costs through subrogation from the at-fault party’s insurance carrier.