Beyond Insurance_ a Survivor’s Guide to Paying Medical Bills After a Car Accident

A car crash isn’t just frightening—it can also be costly, particularly in the form of expensive medical bills. If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Chicago someone else caused, Illinois’s at-fault insurance rules mean you can file insurance claims for accident bills against the other driver.

That said, you might still have questions about how to pay your medical bills after a car accident. Filing a claim doesn’t result in an immediate settlement. While you negotiate with the insurance company, you might wonder how to handle car accident bill medical payments in the meantime.

Health Insurance and Car Accidents: Does Insurance Pay Your Bills After a Chicago Car Crash?

Your own health insurance policy should cover many of the costs of your post-accident treatment. The amount you pay for your care depends on your policy’s provisions for deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance. If you win a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver, you’ll have to repay your health insurer for the care costs.

You should also consider engaging the help of a lawyer as soon as possible, especially if you lack sufficient insurance to pay for your care. They can start by negotiating medical bills after an accident, helping you get the care you need now while promising to pay back the medical providers from the compensation the lawyer recovers on your behalf.

Managing Medical Expenses Post-Accident: Tips to Keep in Mind

Managing your finances after an unexpected crash can seem overwhelming. That doesn’t need to be the case. If you’re wondering how to pay your medical bills after a car accident, consider the following strategies:

  • Discuss the topic with healthcare providers  There’s no harm in discussing your concerns with the parties treating you. They may be able to offer an arrangement that helps you pay for your care more easily. For example, some healthcare providers are willing to wait to accept payment. A doctor or hospital might delay billing for their services until you receive a settlement. Although there’s no guarantee a healthcare provider will offer such an option, it’s worth asking about.
  • Ask about financial assistance programs  You may also ask if any facility treating you offers financial assistance programs for patients struggling to pay their bills. In fact, Illinois hospitals must offer an application form meeting state specifications. The treatment facility may provide financial aid to accident victims and low-income patients.
  • Keep records of all expenses  Keeping records of your medical bills is essential. When you file a claim against the at-fault driver, you need to show how you arrived at the figure you’re asking for in compensation. Including copies of medical bills can help justify a request. However, don’t just save copies of your medical bills. Save records of other related expenses. For example, you may track the cost of travel to and from medical appointments, as you might be eligible to receive compensation for these losses as well. In the long run, keeping thorough records can help reduce post-crash financial stress.
  • Discuss the topic with a financial professional  Various other options are available to accident victims struggling to pay medical bills. For example, some financial institutions offer loans to help car crash victims bridge the gap between when they receive their bills and when they receive settlements. Discuss your options with a financial advisor or similar professional to learn if such an option is right for you.
  • Talk to a lawyer immediately – Not only can a lawyer pursue your personal injury claim against the other driver, but they can negotiate a medical lien with your healthcare provider. Use this lien to get care now, promising to pay back first when you recover compensation.

Never skip a treatment or appointment out of fear you can’t pay for it. Failing to abide by a treatment plan could have negative consequences as you pursue fair compensation.

Legal Tips on Accident Medical Bills

a doctor using a tablet and a keyboardMeet with a lawyer as soon as possible. Until then, keep the following legal tips in mind:

  • Don’t admit fault  In both the immediate aftermath of a crash and the weeks that follow, be very careful not to say you caused the crash. Even suggesting that you in some way contributed to a crash can negatively impact how much compensation you may receive. That’s because Illinois has a comparative negligence law, which means the degree to which someone contributes to an accident or injuries will affect their compensation. Your compensation will be reduced if you’re partially responsible for your injuries. You don’t want to receive less money for medical bills because of an offhand statement to a claims adjuster.
  • Don’t ignore your medical bills  Paying unexpected medical bills can be stressful. However, ignoring your bills will only result in greater stress in the long run. Be proactive by seeking help from a lawyer immediately.
  • Don’t discuss the accident online  Staying off social media is wise when any type of personal injury claim is pending. You may naturally feel the urge to vent about your medical bills online. This can lead to venting about your case in general. In your frustration, you might accidentally make a statement that harms your case if an insurance adjuster finds it. Avoid this by only discussing your medical bills with relevant parties, like healthcare providers and lawyers.

Don’t delay in taking legal action. The Illinois statute of limitations on car accident claims sets a two-year deadline for filing. If you don’t file a lawsuit within two years of the crash, you won’t be able to pursue damages in court.

Contact a Chicago Car Accident Lawyer

Wondering how you’ll pay for your medical care after a car accident in Chicago? Speak JJ Legal about your case today. Our team is ready to help you seek the compensation you deserve, and we’ll do it without any upfront cost to you. Get started today by contacting us online or calling us at 312-200-2000 for a free case review with a Chicago car accident lawyer.

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