When you’re hurt in a wreck with a negligent driver, you need immediate medical care.
Unfortunately, your medical bills aren’t going to wait around for that party’s insurance company to pay up. So what are you going to do? Here’s what you should know about how this works:
Expect the other party’s insurance company to delay
Insurance companies know they’re likely to have to pay your medical bills eventually, but they won’t hurry to do it. Even when the other driver is clearly at fault for your wreck, their insurance may be slow to pay your medical bills in hopes that you’ll latch onto the first low-ball settlement offer they give you.
This is a game, and you don’t want to fall for it. Insurance companies know that the weight of all the debt is very stressful, and they use it to their advantage.
Your own insurance policy will usually pay your bills in the meantime
Whether you have private health insurance, Med Pay auto insurance, Medicare, Med-Cal or another plan, the odds are high that your medical bills after the wreck will be covered by that insurance company.
That doesn’t mean, however, the insurance company won’t try to get its money back. They will usually subrogate the bills. That means they will file a claim with the other party’s insurance company and demand to be repaid.
If you file a lawsuit against the other party (and you probably should), your insurer will probably ask to be repaid from any settlement you have. That’s why the value of your medical bills is always part of the calculations in any personal injury settlement.
You’re a careful driver. You put your phone down. You wear your seatbelt. You don’t speed. You obey the traffic laws. You shouldn’t have to suffer financially because another driver didn’t do the same. Speak to an experienced advocate about your right to ask for compensation for your losses after a wreck.