Handling Medical Bills After A Car Accident

The primary reason individuals and their families reach out to our office to speak with a car accident attorney is for help navigating the complex insurance process and figuring out who pays for the mounting medical bills.  Most people injured in car crashes assume that the at-fault driver’s automobile insurance will cover medical bills as they are incurred. Unfortunately, this is not correct. 

The at-fault driver’s insurance will not cover medical expenses as the bills are incurred.  The at-fault driver’s insurance company rejects paying medical bills in a piecemeal fashion. Instead, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will pay a one-time lump sum settlement in exchange for a full release of all claims, which is an agreement that states the at-fault party (and their insurance company) is released from all future liability and damages. You should always consult with a car accident attorney before signing anything from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. 

Outside of the at-fault driver’s insurer, here are some options to consider for covering medical expenses as you treat following a car crash in Colorado.

First, use your private health insurance. Ask your medical providers to bill your health insurance. If you do not have health insurance, then look for options to become insured either through a spouse or the Colorado Health Exchange. Low-income individuals may also apply for health insurance through Colorado’s Medicaid Program. https://www.healthfirstcolorado.com/ The excellent feature of this coverage is that there’s no enrollment period (you can apply at anytime), and you may request that the coverage apply retroactively. Keep in mind that your health insurer typically has a right to reimbursement for amounts paid to satisfy your medical expenses. 

Your automobile insurance may also cover out-of-pocket medical expenses. Most automobile policies in Colorado carry medical payment coverage. Medical payment coverage provides coverage for all reasonable accident-related medical expenses for you and your injured passengers. The limits for medical payment coverage are generally $5,000-$10,000. 

If you have no health insurance or other means of covering your medical expenses, then treating on a lien may be a reasonable option for you. A healthcare provider lien is a lien related to charges for medical care provided to a person injured by the negligence of another person. The Colorado Legislature recently passed a statute governing healthcare provider liens. See C.R.S. 38-27.5-101. The lien must be in writing and is a legally binding agreement between the provider and patient. The lien must also be limited to the usual and customary charges billed by healthcare providers. The healthcare provider will lien the personal injury or wrongful death case to satisfy the lien using the settlement proceeds. 

None of this should be navigated without the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney. Our attorneys are seasoned car accident lawyers. Call Hailey | Hart PLLC today for a free consultation. 

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