If you are injured in an accident, you should seek immediate medical attention. Many people think that if they do not break any bones, there is no need for medical care. However, medical care can alleviate pain during recovery and can ensure that you heal properly. For example, soft tissues that are torn in an accident will develop greater scar tissue unless physical therapy or exercise are incorporated into the healing process. Scar tissue can noticeably increase pain and limit movement in the long run.
The person at fault is responsible for paying your medical expenses. However, their insurance company will not pay until you have completed your care. Worse yet, sometimes they do not have any insurance.
If you have medical insurance, you may be able to pay for your medical expenses. Your health insurance will want to be reimbursed if they pay bills for injury caused by another. But what will you do if you do not have medical insurance?
If you do not have medical insurance, you hopefully purchased “med pay” coverage that is available to you under your automobile policy. (If you do not have med pay, you should begin to carry it!) Most people carry a minimum amount of med pay. I recommend you carry at least $5,000.00. This type of coverage does not cost very much. Ask your insurance agent for a quote.
Like most people, if you cannot afford to pay cash for your medical care, many doctors in your community may treat you on a lien if you have hired an attorney. This is called an attorney lien.
Understandably, doctors want to make sure that they are paid for their services. They can be reasonable that when a claim is settled they will get paid because both the attorney and the client sign an agreement with the doctor that when the case settles, the client permits the attorney to pay the doctor’s bills once the claim is settled.
Most doctors will not treat you unless you have cash, a health savings account, health insurance, med pay or an attorney’s lien.
Cost of Medical Care
Medical care can be very costly. The costs usually run into the thousands of dollars. Most people cannot afford to pay that out-of-pocket.
The typical costs of treatment from an accident may include the following:
o Ambulance Transport
o Emergency Hospital visit and Diagnostic Testing
o Regular Treatment from a Chiropractor, Physical Therapist or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (soft tissue injuries)
o Surgery for more serious injuries
o Medical doctor for treatment and prescriptions
o Cost of medication
An experienced attorney will help make sure the party at fault has been completely investigated to see what type of insurance coverage, money and assets are available to finance your medical care. These types of issues require great skill and care and you should seriously consider seeking professional legal advice.