Your Rights Under Law
Who Should be Paying My Medical Bills After a Car Accident?
When the crash was caused by the other driver:
- If you are covered by health insurance, have the hospital bill any expenses to your insurance provider.
- If your car insurance policy includes medical payments, then this is supposed to cover your medical bills. It is best, however, to use your health insurance company instead, so think of it as a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy—as long as the hospital does not ask about a medical payments policy, you do not need to disclose it.
- If you are not covered by health insurance, you should know that the other driver’s insurance company will not pay for your medical bills until your whole case is settled. The company will not pay “as you go.”
Your hospital will probably say they are going to bill the other person’s insurance company. This may seem fine, but beware! In fact, the hospital will instead put a medical lien on your case, which means you will be paying them directly out of any settlement you get.
Many clients have contacted me after having told the hospital to charge the other person’s insurance company. Always remember that this is not how insurance works; as long as you have insurance, this is a terrible decision that can cost you thousands of dollars.Why is It Such a Bad Idea?
Health insurance companies receive reduced contract rates for medical treatments they cover, which means that a CT Scan which has a gross sticker price of $2400.00 might only cost your insurance company $400. Even if you have to contribute $300 of that charge, paying that amount is obviously a much better deal than having to pay $2,400 out of your settlement.
The bottom line is if you have a car accident and there are significant medical expenses, take advantage of the free consultation that lawyers offer. Ask specific questions about the best course of action.