Being injured in a car accident is scary, stressful, and can throw your life off-kilter. Beyond the trauma of the accident, you might need treatment for injuries and time off of work to recover. There are so many details to take care of – it’s overwhelming. Then, before you know it, the medical bills start arriving.
You need help – fast. The best move is to consult with an experienced Miami, FL car accident attorney to answer your questions and take the stress off of your shoulders. A lawyer will also help you plan how to organize and approach paying your bills and where you can look for assistance in paying for them.
What Are Some Options to Cover Your Medical Bills?
Many options are available to help you pay your medical bills after a car accident. Florida state law mandates that motor vehicle owners have a minimum level of insurance for medical expenses, the federal government may be able to help, and private insurance may be an option.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Everyone who owns a motor vehicle in Florida is required to have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. PIP is no-fault insurance, which means it will cover your medical expenses and lost wages whether the accident was your fault or not.
Drivers must maintain a minimum of $10,000 in PIP coverage. PIP will usually pay up to 80% of your reasonable medical costs. In addition, PIP will pay up to 60% of your lost wages and $5,000 in death benefits in tragic cases where someone dies in an accident.
PIP coverage can be applied to:
- The policy owner
- Relatives who live in the insured’s residence
- Whoever was driving the insured vehicle
- Passengers in the insured car
- Anyone who was hit by the insured’s vehicle and suffered injuries
Although PIP covers some expenses, it might not cover all of your medical bills.
Medical Payment Insurance Coverage (MedPay)
Medical Payment Insurance Coverage (MedPay) is an optional way to get even more car insurance coverage. It is helpful if your medical expenses are over your PIP policy limits. If you have this coverage, be sure to tell your lawyer.
Private Health insurance
If between PIP and MedPay (if applicable), you don’t have enough car insurance to pay your bills, you can turn to your personal health insurance provider. Typically the insurance company will want you to pursue all of your options through your car insurance before they step in. Your lawyer will help you navigate the insurance claims process to ensure that you examine all options.
The Federal Government: Medicare and Medicaid
Do you use Medicare or Medicaid? If so, you can look to these programs for help with your medical bills. It is important to remember that they might ask to be reimbursed for some of the costs they paid on your behalf.
If you were on the job when your car accident happened, you have another avenue of payment to seek. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy may be required to pay your medical bills and other expenses.
The Medical Bills Keep Coming: How to Stay Organized
You know how you are going to pay your bills. But what’s the best way to stay on top of them so that nothing falls through the cracks? The worst-case scenario is that your bills go to collections – which can be detrimental to your credit rating.
When you consult with your attorney, they will guide you through the process.
Some best practices are:
- Keep track of all of your bills and send a copy to your attorney as soon as you can
- Ensure that your attorney is aware of the doctors you are visiting and how you are progressing in your recovery
- Be proactive—communicate with your medical providers and tell them that you were in an accident and are waiting for the settlement to handle the bills
These are just a few tips. Your lawyer will provide additional guidance and help you get through this difficult time.
A Car Accident Attorney in Miami, FL Can Help You Handle Your Medical Bills After a Collision
After a car accident, you’re likely hurting and stressed from endless medical bills. Take a deep breath and get yourself a good lawyer right away.
Make sure you hire a lawyer who routinely handles car accidents. An experienced attorney will ensure that you are treated fairly and get the compensation you are entitled to.