Personal Injury Attorney Robert Harper explains your medical treatment options after a personal injury, including medical lien providers. This article also goes over how you can keep more of your personal injury settlement money if that is one of your priorities.
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How Personal Injury Medical Bills are Paid
There’s a term in the personal injury world called subrogation. It’s one of those nearly impossible-to-understand legal terms. But subrogation has an important role in a personal injury accident. So we’re going to break down what subrogation is in this article.
Let’s say you’ve been in a car accident or suffered a nasty fall due to someone’s negligence. You require medical treatment. After you get treatment, your health insurance company will pay your medical bills.
You decide to try to collect reimbursement, or a settlement, from the at-fault party, and you are successful. You will not get to keep the entire settlement. Instead, you will have to give some of that reimbursement money to your health insurance company for your medical treatment.
Simply put, subrogation protects you and your insurer from paying for losses that aren’t your fault.
Subrogation lets your insurer go after the at-fault person to recover the money paid out for a claim that was not your fault.
How Insurance Works in a Personal Injury Case
It’s the same health insurance policy, but it is applied differently in the case of an accident.
Let’s say you go to the hospital for the flu or pneumonia. Your health insurer will willingly pay for your medical treatment because it’s no one’s fault you got sick.
But, if you go to the hospital because another driver hits the rear end of your car while you’re stopped at a red light, that’s another matter.
Your insurer will say: Wait a minute, why are we paying this? These medical bills are the fault of someone else’s negligence. Let the at-fault party’s insurance company pay and give us our money back.
When You Should Involve an Attorney
There are two scenarios in which you may consider involving an attorney:
Scenario One: Your attorney will recommend you seek medical attention and use your health insurance to cover your expenses.
Scenario Two: You seek medical attention and look to a medical lien provider to pay for it. That is not as complicated as it sounds. Medical Liens are essentially lines of credit that must be reimbursed by the injured party.
What’s the Difference?
What’s the difference if your insurance company is going to the reimbursed, anyway? Not all that much really.
With a medical lien provider, you will not be immediately billed for treatment. You pay the doctor when the at-fault party’s insurance company pays you. So when you use a medical lien provider, you will not have your bills paid continuously as you get treated like you would if you used your health insurance policy.
Pros And Cons: Medical Lien Providers
When you see a medical lien provider, you will not receive a doctor’s bill until you get an insurance settlement. Your attorney is responsible for paying the medical lien provider out of your settlement.
The Cons of Using a Medical Lien Provider
You may end up paying more out of your settlement to medical lien providers. Generally, medical lien providers bill more or the entire treatment statement at once.
A medical lien provider may take some reductions at the time of settlement, but, generally, you will have to pay back more of your settlement to medical lien providers versus health insurers.
Therefore, after the doctors are paid, there may be less of your settlement money left over for you to keep.
The Pros of Using a Medical Lien Provider
On the plus side, medical lien providers generally offer better treatment and more consistent treatment.
Why? Hospitals have hundreds of patients to care for at any given time. Medical lien providers, on the other hand, care for fewer patients.
Therefore, it stands to reason you receive more attention and better treatment from a medical lien provider.
So that is something to keep in mind if you are less concerned about having more settlement money to put in your pocket at the end of your treatment.
Many attorneys would advise using a medical lien provider than using your own health insurance to cover your costs upfront.
Pros and Cons: Health Insurance
The Pros of Health Insurance
In the case of health insurance, less money will have to be repaid. And why does it matter that less money will have to be paid back by health insurance?
Here’s why: Let’s say the bill for your treatment is $10,000. Your health insurance will most likely pay pennies on the dollar.
In Colorado, as the injured party, you are allowed to ask for the full amount of that $10,000 bill, even though the insurance company only repays your medical bill pennies on the dollar.
What does that mean for you? More money in your pocket in the long run.
The Cons of Health Insurance
Using your health insurance could result in inconsistent treatment in a hospital setting. It can also be more difficult to get a hospital appointment than it is with a medical lien provider.
How Our Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help
It’s not always easy to know exactly what to do in the aftermath of a personal injury. You will have to make many decisions in the weeks and months ahead. Given everything you have recently been through, you may not be in the best shape to make the best decisions.
An attorney who specializes in personal injury can help you understand what may lie ahead and the best course of action for you.
So it’s not always about the amount of money you walk away with, it’s also about the quality of the health care you receive.
How to Get Connected
Call 303-688-0944 to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney. You can also schedule your meeting online when you click here.