Written by: Michael Wade, May 10, 2021
I was in a car accident and I do not have health insurance. What should I do?
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident but do not have medical insurance, you are likely either anxious over the medical bills that are piling up or you are not getting the necessary medical care. Even relatively minor motor vehicle accidents can result in thousands of dollars in medical bills for injured victims. Accidents that cause more serious injuries can easily rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs. Without medical insurance, how are you supposed to pay? More importantly, why should you have to worry about these expenses if you were not at fault for your accident?
Unfortunately, car accident victims are responsible for any medical treatment they receive from hospitals and other medical facilities. At the time of treatment, doctors expect you, not the at-fault driver or their insurance company, to pay the bill. It can take six months or longer for an insurance company to pay out on a personal injury claim, and medical providers simply cannot and do not want to wait that long to be compensated.
What are my options?
If you have been injured in a car accident, there may be coverage available through your car insurance company or through the insurance company of the at-fault driver. This is generally called medical payment coverage. You will need to provide medical bills to be compensated through this coverage. Most personal injury coverage provided through auto insurance is limited, however, so you might not be covered for all medical expenses.
Some medical providers will also work with patients and allow them to make partial payments on a medical bill. For example, if you were in an accident and needed emergency surgery, your bill is likely tens of thousands of dollars, but few individuals have that amount of cash readily available to pay the bill. However, if you call the billing department of the facility that treated you, they may allow you to pay installments on the bill. If you do not make any payments at all, the bill may be sent to collections and hurt your credit score, even if you were not at fault for the accident. After all, medical facilities are businesses, and businesses must make money to continue their operations.
Additionally, if you do not have medical insurance, you could inquire with your providers about the “cash price” for the treatment you have received. Many providers charge those without health insurance less for certain treatments. By asking about the cash prices, you may be able to lower the overall cost of your treatment after your accident.
As you go through your medical treatment, make sure you provide copies of all medical bills and medical reports to your accident attorney. As soon as it is feasible, your attorney will create what is known as a “demand package,” which includes all of the damages you have endured as a result of the accident. This package will be presented to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The insurer may accept, reject, or attempt to negotiate a new settlement amount after receiving the package. Ultimately, your attorney will make sure you are reimbursed for your medical bills to the extent allowed by Arizona law.
You should not be bankrupted because you were the victim of an automobile accident. At Wade & Nysather, P.C., we ensure clients are protected throughout their cases, and we will help you seek maximum compensation for damages resulting from your accident, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and more.
When choosing an accident attorney to represent you, we hope that you will consider us – Wade & Nysather, P.C., AZ Accident Attorneys. Call us today at 602-547-2222 for your FREE consultation and to speak with one of our Arizona accident attorneys personally.