How Medical Bills are Paid for After a Personal Injury?

When you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be wondering who is going to pay for your medical bills. Your injuries have occurred now, not at some point in the future, so those medical bills are on your desk immediately; how are you going to pay them? It’s a question that worries many people when they have suffered a personal injury.

Your personal injury compensation, whether through an insurance settlement or jury trial, unfortunately won’t pay for your immediate medical bills. In most situations you’ll be responsible for the payment of your own medical bills as they are incurred. The at-fault party will have to pay your damages, but as a general rule they will not be required to pay your medical bills as they come in, ongoing.

That said, if your injury occurred in a car accident, you may get some medical bill relief if you’re in a ‘no fault’ state. No fault insurance mandates that your own auto insurer pay at least some of your current medical bills from a car accident injury, and typically quicker than would occur in a ‘fault’ state. And it doesn’t matter who was at fault for the accident. But there is usually a limit on ‘no-fault’ coverage, so it is important to check with your insurer to understand the full details of your overall coverage. Fortunately for New Yorkers, New York is a “no-fault” state.

If your medical bills exceed the ‘no fault’ limit, you will be required to pay for them at that point. For those who have health insurance, the health insurer will pay the medical bills. And for those who are on specialized insurance, such as Medicare or Medicaid, these federal and state run programs will pay for the medical bills. But if you are uninsured, and have none of the aforementioned, you’ll need to make arrangements to pay the healthcare providers who have treated you for your injuries.

If your injuries are such that they exceed a certain dollar amount, or your injuries are deemed very serious, you may be able to go beyond the ‘no fault’ boundaries and then file a standard liability claim against the negligent party. However, there is certainly no guarantee that this option will bring in any quick cash to cover medical bills, because the process for settling liability claims is generally a slow one.

Slip and fall injuries have their own set of issues and it is important to consult with your personal injury attorney to discuss all your options. In general, if your injuries are due to a ‘slip and fall’ you will still, in most cases, be required to handle your own medical bill payments. Though it is important to note that some property owners carry liability insurance that includes a ‘med pay’ provision. If you are injured in a slip and fall accident and the property owner’s insurance includes ‘med pay’ then their insurer will probably pay your medical bills up to a certain limit (whatever the policy states). But anything over that limit will be, again, up to you to cover.

Work-related accidents and injuries are entirely different however. If you suffer a work-related injury you are allowed to file a workers’ compensation claim. If your case is legitimate, then it is highly likely that the workers’ compensation insurer will cover all of your medical bills, including deductibles.

Glen A. Kurtis, P.C.

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