Hawk Law Group | May 25, 2022 | Car Accidents
After you are injured in a car accident, you might have a pile of bills. Ambulance services, emergency rooms, doctors, hospitals, and physical therapists will bill you for your medical care.
You’ll probably worry about these bills, and with justification. Studies suggest that as many as 62% of bankruptcies in the U.S. result, at least in part, from unpaid medical bills.
Here is an overview of how to handle your medical bills after a car accident in Augusta, GA.
Insurance and Your Medical Expenses
Georgia requires you to buy auto insurance, but this insurance does not cover your medical expenses after an accident. Georgia also requires bodily injury liability (BIL) coverage. This pays only for third parties injured in an accident you cause. It does not pay you for injuries you suffer in an accident caused by someone else.
But you may have other insurance coverage that will pay your medical expenses after a car accident.
Medical Payments (MedPay) Coverage
Your auto insurer will offer MedPay as an optional add-on to your car insurance policy. MedPay pays your medical bills after a car accident, regardless of who caused the accident.
To get your MedPay benefits, you do not need to prove who caused the accident. You only need to confirm that your injuries resulted from a car accident covered by your policy and that your medical expenses were necessary and reasonable.
MedPay benefits are often paid more quickly than BIL benefits, and they usually do not have a deductible. They will pay your medical bills from the first dollar incurred up to the policy limit.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Georgia does not require you to buy uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. But if you buy this optional add-on, your insurer will pay your medical bills after you get hit by an uninsured motorist.
To get UM benefits, you must prove the other driver bears fault for the accident. You cannot get UM benefits after an accident you cause.
You must also establish that the other driver meets one of the following criteria:
- Had no BIL coverage
- Bought insurance from a company that went out of business
- Was a hit-and-run driver
Insurance companies often combine UM coverage with underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. UIM pays your medical bills if your bills exceed the at-fault driver’s BIL policy limits.
If you have health insurance, your healthcare providers can bill your insurance provider. But bear in mind that your normal copays and deductibles will apply. You could end up paying substantial amounts out of pocket for your treatment, therapy, and medication.
Other Options for Addressing Medical Bills
You have a few other options for addressing your medical bills if you have no insurance that will cover them.
You can pay your medical bills using your income and savings. The benefit of paying out-of-pocket is that some healthcare providers give cash discounts. The drawback is that you will deplete your income and savings. This means you might not have the money to meet your living expenses.
Liability Insurance Claim
You can file an insurance claim against the at-fault driver. If you prove the other driver bears liability for the accident, you can recover your compensation for your medical bills.
Liability claims can take a long time, particularly if you and your injury lawyer end up filing a lawsuit.
After you settle or win your case, your lawyer will get paid first. Then any medical provider who agreed to a medical lien will get paid. The remainder of your settlement will go to you. This remainder will typically represent compensation for lost wages and pain and suffering.
Contact the Car Accident Lawyers In the Central Savannah River Area at Hawk Law Group for Legal Assistance Today
For more information, please contact the car accident lawyers at Hawk Law Group at our nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We serve throughout the Central Savannah River Area and it’s surrounding areas:
We also serve in Edgefield County, SC.