How Do I Handle Insurance Payments of My Medical Bills or Liens?
Following an accident, it’s extremely important that you receive competent medical attention for your injuries as soon as possible. Depending on the severity of your injuries, however, that treatment can be expensive. So how are you going to pay for it?
If you are in a car accident and carried optional “medical payments” coverage, also known as “Med Pay”, under your automobile insurance policy, then normally your own insurance carrier will pay all of your reasonable and necessary medical bills up to the limits of your medical payments coverage. This same med pay coverage would also cover all of the medical bills of any passengers in your car who are injured in the same accident – again up to limits of your medical payments coverage for each person who was injured.
On the other hand, if you had no medical payments coverage under your automobile policy, but had HMO coverage, your HMO would normally pay your medical bills instead.
In both cases above, however, most automobile insurance carriers and HMOs will usually seek reimbursement for the total amount they paid against your bills out of any monetary compensation you may later receive from settling your case. This is called a “lien”.
What most people don’t realize is that an experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in this field can usually negotiate these liens down by as much as 30 – 40 %, thereby saving the client a substantial amount of money when the main case against the negligent party settles, and the liens then have to be paid back.