The average car accident that results in a serious injury can feel like it impacts you physically and financially. While the work to replace or repair your vehicle can get expensive, the costs can pale in comparison to the extent of your medical bills. To make matters worse, while you are trying to heal from your painful injuries, you probably cannot go to work and keep earning an income. How are you supposed to pay your bills after a car accident leaves you in such a difficult lose-lose situation?
Using All Available Insurance Coverage
If you get into a crash, even with full tort coverage, you must first rely on your own insurance, both medical and auto, to cover your bills in a no-fault state like Pennsylvania. Some motorists feel reassured that they should receive at least the minimums of their policies under a no-fault auto insurance policy. However, such types of insurance are not without drawbacks.
Under this system, you could have to pay for your own medical bills and dip into your savings if you can no longer work. Using your savings is considered an “out-of-pocket” expense and can be reimbursed if you later decide to make a claim with the at-fault party's insurance company for damages that exceeded your original policy.
If you file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company and secure a settlement, then they will have to reimburse you for all expenses you paid as the result of the accident. However, there is always a chance that the insurance company could refuse to pay your claim or try to lob a lowball settlement amount at you. Beware such lowball offers because they are permanent and binding once you sign them. It is safe to always let your car accident attorney review and settlement offers first before agreeing to any amount that could be too low.
Notifying Medical Providers About Your Accident
When your medical bills start to pile up or you predict they will soon, you can try to get more time to pay those bills back without consequences. Contact your medical providers, inform them of the situation, and ensure they know your treatments were necessary due to an accident that was not your fault. You can ask the medical provider to put your account on hold until your case is settled, which, hopefully, will mean you can pay your bills completely.
Some medical groups might even allow you to set up a payment plan to prevent your account from going into collections. Other than being targeted and harassed by collectors, unpaid medical bills can start to weaken your credit score. Again, finding a cooperative middle ground with the medical provider can delay when you need to make payments and protect your credit score in the interim because they will not report you to creditors as delinquent.
Plan Ahead with an Attorney
Following an accident that severely damages your vehicle or causes you to suffer a serious injury, you should contact a local car accident lawyer as soon as possible. They can help you anticipate and respond to various insurance company tactics used to pay you an undervalued amount. Your attorney should also want to help you keep track of all the bills you had to pay yourself – or those that are still pending – to accurately calculate your damages.
If you need assistance filing a claim or fighting a denied claim, talk to one of our skilled lawyers at Metzger Wickersham, serving clients in Pennsylvania. Our attorneys understand how difficult dealing with a car accident can be, especially when you have the added stress of dealing with late medical bills. We can offer you decades of legal experience and the resources that come with an established and well-staffed firm. Our lawyers have handled thousands of personal injury cases and can help review police reports, medical records, employment documents, and all other resources needed to determine the fair value of your case.
Contact us at (888) 286-2850 or fill out our online form to schedule your free case consultation today.