After a serious accident—even if it was someone else’s fault—the bills for your medical care will start to pile up.
Whether you suffered a broken leg in a Greer car accident, injured your spine by falling in a Boiling Springs grocery store, or have been given the wrong medicine at a
Paying the bills remains your responsibility. Providers expect you to pay right now, and may send your account to bill collectors—an action that can damage your credit, despite all your honest assurances you’ll pay them once the case settles. So here’s one of the most important tips we give any injury victim: If you have health insurance, use it.
Your Health Care Coverage Can Relieve Bill Pressure
You’ve paid for your health insurance, and this is exactly what it’s for. Using your own health insurance will keep you from being worried about mounds of bills and the stress of being hounded by bill collectors.
If you did not immediately file your bills with your health insurance, it may not be too late. You should still ask providers to file it. Almost all medical bills have a section you can fill in with your insurance information. Don’t let a provider strong-arm you into not filing on your health insurance: the provider agreed with your insurance company to take it.
A Hidden Benefit of Health Insurance Might Help Your Case
Health insurance pays your bills in full at a discount. But evidence of health insurance payments is inadmissible in court. The reason is that wrongdoers do not get credit for your good sense or good fortune in having health insurance. For purposes of your case, the value of your medical bills is the amount of the bill without any insurance discount.
Here’s how it can help you: Say your health insurance company has negotiated a discount and pays only $500 to settle your $2,000 medical bill. The wrongdoer’s insurance should consider that a $2,000 medical bill, which ought to get you a higher settlement than a $500 medical bill.
Your health insurance company will probably notify you of its claim to get part of your accident settlement to reimburse the medical bills it paid. This is called subrogation. In many of our cases involving subrogation, we are able to convince the health insurance company to let our client pay it back at a discount. This makes sense, as we did their work for them, keeping the health insurance company from paying someone else to recover the money owed. Our clients keep the extra amount.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident in
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