A successful personal injury claim or lawsuit should secure damages for you that pay for your medical treatments. With an experienced attorney working on your case, you might walk away with paying nothing at all for medical care that has already been given and what becomes necessary in the far future. But what happens to your medical bills when your personal injury lawsuit is still pending? Who is going to pay for things upfront if the accident was not your fault?
Your Options for Paying Medical Bills While a Lawsuit is Pending
- Personal Injury Protection insurance: If you have purchased Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, and you were injured in a car accident, then your medical bills should be paid by your insurance provider, up to your policy’s cap. PIP insurance is useful because it allows for coverage before liability is ever decided. Not all drivers have PIP insurance, though, and it is quite uncommon in many states.
- MedPay policy: Similar to PIP insurance, MedPay insurance bundled into an auto insurance policy can pay for medical care up to a cap, regardless of who caused the accident. Unlike PIP insurance, you might have to repay the MedPay insurance provider when your case ends, even if you do not win the case.
- Healthcare insurance: Your healthcare insurance provided through your employer could be used to get necessary medical care while your lawsuit is pending. There will be policy limits that determine how much and what types of treatments you can receive, and you will likely need to pay deductibles and copays. Overall, the majority of people who are hurt in accidents and need to fight the other party for damages will use their healthcare insurance to pay for medical costs while the claim or lawsuit is developing. Additionally, your healthcare insurance provider might also have a claim to some of your settlement or award if you win one.
- Medical liens: Some medical professionals will agree to treat a patient for no payments at the time of treatment by using medical liens. Essentially, a medical lien states that the medical provider is owed a portion of any settlement or verdict won by the patient in order to reimburse them for the treatments, with the possibility of interest or additional fees. You should always read a medical lien offer carefully because you might be required to repay it if you lose your claim. For the most part, medical liens are arranged between a medical provider and a local personal injury attorney because a doctor will be much more willing to treat a patient for “free” if a legal professional has assured them that they will more than likely be able to win the case and collect a payday for everyone.
Is It Going to Take Long to Get a Settlement?
Given that you might need to find a different way to pay for your medical bills while your injury claim is pending, it is natural to wonder how long will it take to get a settlement? Unfortunately, the answer can vary noticeably depending on details of your case, like its total value, the insurance companies involved, and what happened to cause your injuries. With a rough estimation, some cases can take about 4 to 6 months to reach a settlement when all parties cooperate. But others can take a year or longer if there is a great deal of compensation on the line and liability is unclear. This is why it is so important to work with a legal team that understands what you are going through, can work with local medical providers to use fair medical liens as needed, and keep your case developing without unnecessary delays.
If you live in Columbus, Ohio, and you have been hurt in an accident that was not your fault, dial (614) 450-2223 right away to connect with Ross, Midian & Breitmeyer, LLC. During a free consultation, we can discuss key details of your case to see what can be done next to take care of you.