Creditors for Medical Bills In Personal Injury Claims

One of the main questions people have after getting hurt in an auto accident is how they go about paying their bills.

So what’s the answer?  As usual, it’s complicated.

For whatever reason, a lot of people think that there is a different billing and collections system for auto accident-related medical bills.  They often think that the liability carrier will just start writing checks for their bills, or that the hospitals/other providers will just hold off collecting those bills until they clam is done.  None of those things are true.

The main thing (and it’s a hard thing) to take away from this post is that your bills are your responsibility.  Period.   Even if it wasn’t your fault that you incurred them, it’s you that owes them.  That’s our system, believe it or not.

Of course, MY JOB is to make that not so painful for you.  In handling the claim, my goal will be to get you a sufficient recovery from whatever insurance carriers are out there so that you won’t lose money on medical treatment costs, and hopefully I’ll be able to get you something for your pain/suffering/inconvenience.  Obviously, our ability to recover for any and all of those things are affected by many factors, including but not limited to liability issues, damages, causation, etc.

You get it now, if you have bills, you have to pay them.  But what if you can’t?

Here’s the best advice I can give on medical bills after an auto accident:

  1. If you have health insurance, use it!  This is what it’s for!  Insist that the provider bill your health insurance.  This will reduce your overall costs in most situations, depending on your policy, and will slow that collections process down, too.
  2. Whether we are talking balances, co-pays, or the whole bills, IF you can pay them now, PAY THEM NOW!  That will totally stifle credit reporting concerns down the road, and we’ll do our best to get you paid back.
  3. If you can’t pay all the bills now, MAKE SOME SORT OF PAYMENT PLAN!  Even if it’s just $10/month, that will help, and most hospitals would rather get that than nothing, AND that will hold off credit reporting, too.
  4. If you can’t make payment arrangements, send me copies of the bills with collections warnings and I’ll ask them to hold off.  There’s no law that says they have to, but in many circumstances, if they know you have an attorney, they’ll be more patient.

This can be confusing, mostly because of our inability to toss pre-conceived and inaccurate notions.  But I’m here to help.  Call me for any accident injury questions at 919-929-2992.


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Jeffrey Allen Howard, Attorney at Law, PLLC
1829 E. Franklin St. - Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

(P) 919-929-2992
(F) 919-636-4779

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