After suffering an injury, it’s natural to worry about how you will pay for medical bills. Will your settlement cover your medical costs or will you be stuck with the bill? In most cases, injuries are covered by insurance or a settlement from the responsible party. Let’s take a closer look at who pays for medical bills after an injury.
Medical Costs Prior to an Injury Settlement
If you have health insurance, the majority of your medical costs should be covered. However, if you don’t have health insurance or need additional coverage for treatments not covered by your plan, you may be able to obtain interim payments from the liable party. In some cases, this is referred to as “pre-settlement funding” and is used if there is no other way to pay for medical treatment after an injury.
Medical Costs After a Settlement
Once a settlement is reached, any remaining unpaid medical bills should be paid out of that settlement amount. Generally speaking, these funds will come out of the portion of the settlement allocated to compensatory damages, which are intended to reimburse injured individuals for their losses related to pain and suffering and lost wages due to missed work days. It’s important to note that if there are insufficient funds in that portion of the settlement, then it may be necessary to negotiate with medical providers in order to reduce or eliminate any outstanding balances.
Injuries can be expensive, especially when it comes time for payment of medical bills. If you have been injured and are wondering who will bear responsibility for paying your medical costs—the responsible party or yourself—the answer depends on whether a settlement has been reached between you and them.
Prior to a settlement being reached, you may be able to seek pre-settlement funding from the liable party in order to cover any uncovered medical expenses. And once a settlement is reached, any remaining unpaid bills should come out of that portion of your award allocated towards compensatory damages.
Ultimately though, it’s best practice to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help ensure that all relevant parties are held accountable for payment of those costs in full.