No one wants to think about what might happen if they get into a car accident. But the reality is, motor vehicle crashes are common and can happen to you. Understanding the basics of what to do after a collision, like when to get medical care and how to get your expenses covered until you can recover compensation, can help you handle a similar situation should one occur.
Below, we explore details about how medical bills get paid in the several months – or even years – before a victim can obtain financial compensation from the at-fault driver and how to get legal help if you were hurt in a collision.
Use Your PIP Benefits
Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, is legally required in Massachusetts. This is part of your car insurance policy and they can cover things like medical expenses, lost wages, funeral costs, and other expenses related to an eligible car accident claim. Every individual who is hurt in a motor vehicle accident in Massachusetts will have access to these benefits from the insurer of whichever vehicle they were in when the collision occurred.
Depending on your circumstances, your PIP may cover up to $8,000 in medical expenses, or $2,000 if you have private health insurance that will also contribute towards the cost of your recovery.
To use your PIP benefits, you will need to submit a claim to your insurance company or the insurer of the vehicle you were a passenger in and provide documentation of the accident, your injuries, and any medical costs you have incurred. Once your claim is approved, the insurance company will send you a check for the amount of coverage that you have.
Submit Expenses to Your Health Insurance
If you have health insurance, you should submit your medical bills to them for payment once your PIP coverage is exhausted. Depending on your policy, it may cover some or all of your medical expenses, depending on your deductible and other factors. If you do have coverage, you may have to pay a copay or deductible before you can obtain access to your benefits. Then, Once you have met your deductible, your health insurance company will usually pay a portion of your remaining medical expenses. However, they may not cover all of what’s left over.
Negotiate Payment Plans With Providers
If you don’t have PIP or health insurance, or if your coverage does not cover all of the costs associated with the accident, you may need to negotiate payment plans with your providers. Many hospitals and doctor’s offices are willing to work out payment plans for patients who have been injured in car accidents and who will be pursuing compensation via a personal injury lawsuit.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that providers may charge interest on unpaid balances. Make sure the interest rate is reasonable and that you can afford your payment each month.
Get a Financing to Pay Your Medical Expenses
If you are waiting on a car accident insurance settlement, you may be able to get a loan against that future settlement. This kind of loan is often referred to as a lawsuit or settlement loan.
Settlement loans are typically provided by companies that specialize in lending to people who are waiting on settlements. The loans are usually short-term, with repayment due when you receive your settlement. Interest rates on this type of financing can be high, so it’s important to compare offers from multiple lenders before deciding on one.
Keep in mind that taking out a loan will reduce the amount of money you ultimately receive from your settlement. Make sure the benefit of getting the money now outweighs the cost of paying back the loan later.
It’s also critical to note that these loans are typically only available for personal injury cases where there is a good chance of winning or settling for a large sum of money. If your case doesn’t meet these criteria, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get a lawsuit loan.
Contact a Massachusetts Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident, you may be wondering how to pay your medical bills before you receive any compensation from the at-fault driver.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you to navigate the legal process and ensure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries. Additionally, many attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning they don’t charge any fees unless they win your case.
At Mazow | McCullough, PC, we can help you recover after a devastating car accident. Contact us for a consultation to discuss your car accident case by dialing our Salem, MA office at (978) 744-8000 or toll free at (855) 693-9084.