One of the first questions that our clients have is “who should be paying my medical bills following a car crash.” Most people think it is unfair that their bills are being paid by their own health insurance, their own MedPay or by them themselves when the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence. Most people want to know why the other driver’s insurance company hasn’t taken responsibility for their injuries yet and isn’t paying for their medical bills as they come in.
The other driver’s auto insurance is the last entity that you want paying your medical bills. They will only do so in exchange for a release of future liability and will only be making a one-time payment. So, if you were to accept their offer to pay your medical bills (or your medical bills up to a certain dollar figure) during the first week or so after your accident, you may find yourself with very large outstanding bills at the end of the case.
Your primary health insurance company should be the first company receiving and paying the medical bills. Typically, the hospital or your doctor will take care of processing these payments. Of course, you are responsible for any co-pays.
If you do not have health insurance or your treating physician does not accept your health insurance, the second source of payment that you should look to is the MedPay provision on your Virginia auto insurance policy. MedPay is, essentially, a supplemental health insurance. It is an optional purchase with your auto policy and pays for medical bills as they come in and regardless of fault for the accident. You can also use MedPay in conjunction with your health insurance by submitting the receipts for the co-pays to your auto policy.
Finally, if you have neither MedPay nor health insurance, you are the one responsible for paying the bill upfront. Some doctors may defer collecting on this bill until your settlement by asking you to sign a lien for their services.
We understand that having medical bills pile up after an accident can be a stressful thing, but the last thing that you want to do is rush to a settlement before you make a full recovery or before you know the full extent of your injuries.