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Who Is Responsible For Paying Medical Bills After a Car Accident?

Car Accident Lawyer

Following a car accident, injured parties need to be most concerned about getting proper medical treatment. Doing so can help them recover quickly while also documenting the care required for rehabilitation and medication. Having complete records can help victims in their personal injury claims against the at-fault driver. However, receiving treatment doesn\’t come without expenses, so who is responsible for paying those medical bills?

Insurance Company

Many people don\’t realize that the at-fault driver typically will not pay directly for the victim\’s medical bills or any damages associated with the accident. The legally responsible entity is the at-fault driver\’s car insurance company. The victim can file a claim against the at-fault driver\’s insurance for damages. 

Accident Victim

The insurance company is not likely to pay for the victim\’s medical treatment while it is happening. If any bills come due before claims or lawsuits are resolved, the victim is responsible for paying those medical expenses according to the agreement he or she made with the clinic or hospital. Some personal injury claims take months or years to settle. People who do not pay their medical bills during this time are not exempt from being sent to collections just because they were injured due to no fault of their own. 

It\’s also important to understand that even once all parties have reached a settlement, the insurance company will not pay the medical bills. The settlement money is awarded so that accident victims can pay off the medical providers directly. 

Some health care establishments will defer payments when they know that the victim is working with a lawyer. In these cases, those medical bills will be paid as part of the settlement process. 

Health Insurance

Accident victims who have health insurance should submit the medical bills to the insurance company to see if they will be covered under the policy. This step can significantly reduce the victim\’s out-of-pocket costs. Many health insurance companies offer a negotiated fee plan where doctors provide their services at pre-approved rates that are much lower than average. Taking this route can be a financial benefit while the victims wait for the settlement money.