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Handling Medical Bills After You're Injured in an Accident

April 8, 2019

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When you are injured in an accident, your first focus should be on getting healthy. Unfortunately, an important question for most is how to pay the medical bills that accumulate. Because the legal process takes time, you usually can't wait to start paying the bills. Understanding the sources of funding available to you is thus critical to getting yourself up and running.

Settlement Offer

One tempting source of payments for your health costs is an early settlement offer from the insurance company of the person who caused the accident. They will typically offer to pay for your damages in a lump sum and avoid the time, cost, and uncertainty of litigation. Faced with a long recovery and legal battle, the temptation to take the offer is understandable.

Unfortunately, once you accept a settlement offer, you sign away your right to more. If you do not know what your final medical costs will be, you cannot go back for more as new bills roll in. You should talk to a personal injury attorney before you ever

Insurance Payments

If you have health insurance or PIP coverage on your auto policy, your insurance company will typically pay for your medical bills under the terms of the contract. This often covers a portion of your costs, depending on the coverage you have, up to the coverage limits.

In many states, the insurance company can file a lien against any recovery you eventually get, and recover its costs against the judgment or settlement. But New Jersey as an anti-subrogation state, does not allow insurers to recover costs from accident victims. The most significant exceptions are federal policies like Medicare or Medicaid, which can recover under federal law.

Out of Pocket

Whatever your insurer does not cover, you must pay out of pocket until your case is resolved. You are responsible for that amount; you can't wait for the other party to pay. This can be a source of stress the other side uses against you. If you have been injured, contact Stern & Stern LLP today to discuss your case and understand your options.