When dealing with a personal injury, your finances might be the last thing you wish to think about. Yet in the days following your accident, you could receive phone calls from medical providers, insurance companies and bill collectors demanding payment. Whether you can afford your medical bills out of pocket or not, you may not lawfully have an obligation to pay them. Someone else could be responsible for covering the costs of your personal injury treatments in Kansas City.
Fault vs. No-Fault States (for Auto Accidents)
Special rules apply to car accident cases as opposed to other types of personal injuries, such as slip and falls. As a general rule, the person who caused your auto accident will not have to pay for your medical bills on an ongoing basis. Instead, another party (such as you or your insurance company) will have to pay upfront, then wait for a settlement or judgment award from the defendant to reimburse you for what you have spent, as well as what you will foreseeably spend in the future. This is the typical process in a fault-based car insurance state, such as Missouri.
In a no-fault state, however, such as Kansas, you may receive payment upfront from your insurance company instead of having to wait. Your personal injury protection car insurance will cover your medical bills regardless of who caused the accident. Your insurance company will front your medical costs up to the limits of your policy, after which you will have to pay out of pocket. If you have health insurance, your health insurer may pick up the remaining costs. You may also be able to file a claim against the at-fault driver in a no-fault state if you suffered serious enough injuries.
Med Pay Car Insurance
Another exception to the rule after a car accident is if you have med pay insurance. This is an optional form of insurance in most states that will cover the costs of your medical bills even if you were at fault for the crash. If you have med pay on your auto insurance policy, your own provider will pay for your medical expenses. Then, your provider may file a claim with the at-fault driver for reimbursement later.
Non-Car Accident Claims
If you suffer an injury in an accident other than a car crash, you may have to pay your medical bills out of pocket or through your health insurance company until you can obtain a settlement from the at-fault party. If you cannot afford to pay your medical bills, consider hiring an injury attorney for assistance. A lawyer may be able to negotiate with a health insurance company for upfront coverage of the costs of your medical bills until the successful resolution of your case. Then, your lawyer can help you file a claim or lawsuit against the defendant for compensation. Upon receiving a settlement or verdict, part of your award will go to the insurer to repay your medical debts.
Work-related accidents could lead to serious and debilitating injuries. You may suffer a catastrophic injury that requires thousands of dollars in medical care and forces you to stay home from work. The entity responsible for paying your medical bills after a workplace accident depends on the situation.
In most cases (unless you caused your own injuries through horseplay or a broken law), your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance should pay your medical costs. Filing a workers’ comp claim will lead to regular checks to pay for your lost wages and medical costs until the date you recover from your injuries. You should not have to pay for your medical care out of pocket after a workplace accident and a workplace injury lawyer will help you through the process.
If you have questions about how you will afford your medical bills after an accident in Kansas City, talk to a personal injury lawyer. An attorney can guide you through the process of recovering compensation to help you with your debts, if applicable.