All types of car accidents have the potential to cause catastrophic personal injuries that may affect you for the rest of your life. Medical treatment for such injuries may entail significant medical bills, both in the short term and in the long term, if your injury requires ongoing or future treatment.
This raises the question of whose insurance pays for car accident injuries in South Carolina. It is important to understand the role of various types of coverage as well as insurance alternatives in helping you return to a normal quality of life.
The lawyers at David R. Price, Jr., P.A. have the experience to handle your car accident claim and help you understand your options for paying your resulting medical bills. Contact us today to learn more from our Greenville car accident attorneys about how we can help you with your next steps.
Does Health Insurance Cover Car Accident Bills?
The answer to this question is generally yes. You can use your health insurance policy for any and all treatment related to your car accident. If you have health insurance, a good rule of thumb to follow when receiving treatment is to request that the medical provider submits any bills to your health insurance company. Do not allow medical providers to submit your medical bills directly to car insurance, because you may be entitled to discounts of your medical bills if they are filed to your health insurance.
The amount that your health insurance company will contribute to paying for bills resulting from your car accident injuries may vary based on your policy. You will likely have to pay the deductible outlined in your policy before the insurer begins making payments, and you may be required to pay copayment fees for each medical visit.
Auto insurance providers are also obligated to pay for car accident injuries. If a negligent driver is responsible for the accident that caused your injuries, our lawyers can also help you seek compensation from that individual’s auto insurance provider as another means to pay for your car accident medical bills.
However, you are not likely to receive a settlement offer from the auto insurer until you are finished treating, because the true value of your claim will depend on the total of medical bills and other records pertaining to your injury. This means that, while car insurance can effectively reimburse you for your medical expenses, you should not expect it to help you pay for treatment immediately after the accident.
Are There Health Insurance Alternatives for Paying Car Accident Medical Bills?
While health insurance is your first line of defense when determining who pays for car accident injuries, there are other insurance alternatives you might be able to turn to if you lack health insurance coverage for your injuries.
If you are eligible for either Medicare or Medicaid, either of these programs will cover the cost of hospitalization and medical treatment after an accident regardless of who is at fault. Eligibility for Medicare requires you to be at least 65 years of age or to have a qualifying disability or medical condition. Medicaid requires you to either meet financial eligibility criteria as well as residency criteria for the state in which you are receiving Medicaid.
If you purchased Personal Injury Protection or Medical Payment Insurance Coverage with your vehicle’s insurance coverage, you can use these policies to help cover medical expenses resulting from a car accident. PIP and MedPay policies typically cover up to $10,000 in treatment costs, though these amounts will vary by policy.
If the at-fault driver does not have auto insurance coverage of their own with which to cover your personal injury claim, you may also have the option to file a claim with your own auto insurance provider. If your policy includes uninsured motorist coverage, your insurer will compensate you for damages and injuries sustained due to the actions of a negligent driver who does not meet South Carolina’s minimum automobile insurance requirements.
How Can You Pay Your Medical Bills Without Insurance Available?
Should you require medical treatment while lacking the insurance to cover the costs, as well as the means to pay out-of-pocket, the healthcare provider may require you to sign a legally-binding document in which you agree to accept the obligation to repay your medical bills.
Similarly, your healthcare provider might leverage a medical lien which states that they can recoup the money owed for treatment from any settlement you receive as a result of your personal injury claim.
As another option, your attorney may present a letter of protection to a qualified physician as a legal promise that any proceeds acquired through your personal injury case will cover their fees.
Contact Us After You Sustain Car Accident Injuries
If you have been in a serious motor vehicle collision in South Carolina, you deserve to know your options for covering your bills resulting from car accident injuries. The attorneys at David R. Price, Jr., P.A. help individuals and families secure the compensation they need from insurance companies and negligent drivers. Contact us today for a free consultation with one of our lawyers.
David Price is a Personal Injury, Civil Litigation, Collections, and Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law, and has been practicing law for 12 years. David Price believes in helping those who have been injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.