Car accidents can be one of the most traumatic experiences for victims and families, especially if you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury that has resulted in high and unexpected medical bills. Victims of car accidents who don’t have medical insurance can often face multiple bills that they cannot afford. Even if you have medical insurance, you may find yourself saddled with surprise medical bills and high deductibles. What can you do if you find yourself struggling to pay medical bills after a car accident? There are four steps that you can take:
- Use Your Health Insurance,
- Check for Errors in Your Bills,
- Negotiate the Bills with the Hospital, and
- Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer.
Use Your Health Insurance
When you are badly hurt in an accident, you would need treatment immediately. Based on the severity of the accident, you could easily have hospital bills pile up very quickly. If you have health insurance, you should use that to pay the medical bills as you get them. If, however, the other driver is “at-fault” for the accident, the bills most likely will be paid by the insurance of the at-fault driver due to the fact that Texas is an at-fault state.
Check for Errors in Your Bills
A vast majority of hospital bills have some kind of error, whether that is improper billing codes or double billing. Whether you are paying out of pocket or whether your insurance is covering a portion of the bills, errors can increase the amount you would be required to pay. For these reasons, it would be best to check the itemized bill that you receive from the hospital for errors. If you do find any errors or are not sure about some of the items listed, check with the hospital, or contact an attorney to help you understand the bills fully.
Negotiate the Bills with the Hospital
If your insurance company is not paying the whole bill, or if you are being required to pay the entire bill due to a lack of insurance, negotiating the bill with the hospital may be an option for you. Many of the hospitals that are not for profit are required to forgive a percentage of their bills. If you can prove that you are low income, your bill may be forgiven. Along with this, hospitals sometimes charge private insurance patients or patients with no insurance higher rates than patients with health insurance that is accepted by the hospital. Call the billing department and ask if you can be charged the Medicare rate, which may result in a reduction in your bills.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
If your hospital bills stem from a car accident that was the result of another person’s activities, you may be entitled to seek damages from the negligent party to cover your medical expenses, lost wages. If your bills result from your own actions, a personal injury attorney would be able to help you find ways to help cover the damage and understand all of the bills. If you have any questions about a personal injury case, contact a personal injury lawyer in Arlington, TX, like the office of Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC.