When it comes to the aftermath of a truck accident, it can feel like one headache after another. The stress from the accident alone is enough to overtake anyone. And if you or your family has suffered any injuries, the anxiety may feel like it’ll never subside.
And what about the medical bills? Most Americans aren’t made of money – which means medical bills hurt. Fortunately, with experienced personal injury lawyers like those at The Gilbert Law Firm in your corner, you can be compensated for all of your losses by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
The problem is that these lawsuits tend to take a long time, and it might be months or even years before you receive your settlement check. So how are you supposed to pay your medical bills in the meantime?
Read on to learn about the many ways you can address your medical bills in the immediate aftermath of a truck accident in Washington state.
Your car insurance can pay if you have Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Depending on your auto insurance policy, you may be signed up for coverage known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP). PIP coverage will pay for your medical bills after a truck accident up to a certain limit. That limit varies depending on your policy, but is usually around $10,000.
PIP in Washington state is an example of “no-fault coverage,” meaning it applies no matter who was at fault in the accident.
Here are some of the things that PIP coverage can pay for in the aftermath of an accident:
- your medical bills
- medical bills of any family members involved in the accident
- lost wages due to injury
- prescription drugs or further treatment
But given the cost of healthcare in this country, $10,000 won’t always be enough, depending on the nature of your injuries. As a result, you may have to look at further methods of paying for your medical bills after a truck accident.
To find out if you have PIP insurance, check your auto insurance policy or speak with an agent at your insurance company.
You can use your own health insurance
It may seem contradictory at first, but, yes, you can use your own health insurance. Even if the accident was not your fault, it’s okay to use your own insurance.
Here’s how it works:
- Your health insurance can cover you according to your policy
- You keep the records of every hospital or doctor visit and all the bills that come in the mail
- Our experienced Washington truck accident attorneys can submit this information as evidence of deserved financial compensation
- Subrogation compensates your insurer
What is subrogation? Once you’ve reached a settlement, your insurer will be compensated for when they paid for your care.
Does this mean your money is being taken away? No, because when you receive a medical bill, you can get compensated for the entire bill amount. When your insurer pays for your treatment, they often receive special discounts, so they can only get compensated for how much they paid.
→ You receive a $20,000 bill from the hospital
→ Your health insurance pays for you and the discounted amount is $2,000
→ You receive $20,000 in compensation for the hospital bill
→ Your insurer is reimbursed the $2,000 and you keep the rest
If you don’t have health insurance, some providers can help you start a payment plan. Talk to our experienced truck accident attorneys about what that might look like for you.
Medical liens are also an option in the Pacific Northwest
In situations where you aren’t able to pay your medical bills after a truck accident, the hospital or healthcare provider will likely file for a medical lien against your personal injury claim.
A medical lien is essentially an agreement that, once you receive a settlement from your personal injury lawsuit, you will use that money to repay your healthcare provider for your treatment.
Because of the copays and deductibles involved with using health insurance, it may seem like a medical lien is a cheaper alternative that you can use to pay your medical bills after an accident.
However, there are a number of reasons to avoid medical liens when possible:
- As we mentioned above, your health insurance company will likely pay a discounted rate. By putting off your bills with a medical lien, you are giving your healthcare provider the opportunity to charge the full amount.
- If your personal injury claim fails to provide you with adequate compensation, you will be on the hook for repaying your lien. Combined with the above, you could be facing even higher medical bills than you would have otherwise.
As a result, medical liens should be a last resort.
Contact our dedicated attorneys at Gilbert Law
If you’ve been in a truck accident, you can confide in the legal counsel of the Washington state attorneys at The Gilbert Law Firm. We know how devastating a trucking accident can be, but we have the experience to help you through so you can recover and get the compensation you deserve.
We will fight for you and work diligently on your case, just as we have for every one of our clients. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and tell us about your case.
Disclaimer: The blog published by the Gilbert Law Firm marketing team for informational purposes only and is not considered legal advice or a substitute for legal advice. There is no attorney-client relationship between the reader and the blog publisher. Readers are urged to consult their own legal counsel on any specific legal questions concerning a specific situation.