Getting into an accident is already stressful enough but that’s only the beginning. If your injuries are severe, you might be wondering who will pay for your medical bills after an accident? You have the option of filing for a personal injury claim in order to get compensation but settlement negotiations will only begin after you have attained maximum medical improvement. You need to cater to your medical bills on an ongoing basis and you might not afford to wait until you reach MMI. Two things are typically considered when it comes to paying medical bills: the state you live in and the type of insurance involved.
The Guilty Party Does Not Need to Pay Your Bills on an Ongoing Basis
If you get into an accident, you will be responsible for paying for your own medical bills on an ongoing basis. The law, however, requires the defendant to pay you for any damages you incurred as a result of the accident and medical bills happen to be part of the damages.
Rhode Island is a Fault Auto Accident Insurance State
This means that if the other person is found responsible for your accident, they will be held legally liable for your injuries or damages. The at-fault driver’s insurance will quickly pay your damages. You, however, can recover compensation using three methods:
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit
- Filing a claim with the defendant’s insurance carrier
- Filing a claim with your own insurance carrier
If you were living in a no-fault state, you will have to exhaust your policy limit before pursuing the defendant to pay your medical bills. The good news is that you do not have to worry about this if you live in Rhode Island or any other fault state.
For a Slip and Fall Accident
If you suffer an injury due to a slip and fall accident, you will be responsible for paying your medical bills. But if the owner of the property has “med pay” insurance coverage, then their insurance company will pay for your medical bills after an accident up to the med pay policy limits. Once the limits are exhausted, you will be responsible for paying your medical bills.
For a Boating Accident
Unfortunately, boating insurance companies do not have “med pay” insurance coverage so you will have to pay for your own medical bills after an accident.
For Work Related Accidents
If you are injured at work, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer will pay your medical bills. You are not required to pay your medical bills if you get into a work related accident. Your employer might even be required to reimburse you for any expenses you incurred such as transportation expenses to and from the hospital.
You Might Need to Reimburse Your Health Insurer
If a state agency or a health insurer paid your medical bills after an accident, they are entitled to reimbursement. The reasoning behind this is that they shouldn’t have to pay for injuries caused by someone else’s negligence. Most health insurers typically have a clause in their agreements that clearly state “right to reimbursement” or “subrogation”.
This right to reimbursement in theory prevents plaintiffs from receiving a windfall. In reality, it can prevent you from being fully compensated for your injuries. There will definitely be some haggling over this issue with your health insurer after your personal injury lawsuit concludes. However, you should be in safe hands because your personal injury lawyer will handle everything.
What if You Don’t Have Insurance or Insufficient Evidence to Make a Case?
The worst-case scenario is when you don’t have medical insurance coverage, you have insufficient evidence to build a strong personal injury case or it’s your own fault that the accident happened in the first place. If this is the case, then you will be responsible for paying your medical bills after an accident.
If you can’t afford to pay the bills, you might have a few options. Your lawyer might advise you to file for bankruptcy in order to get rid of your medical debt.
If you have been involved in an accident and you wish to seek compensation, you can contact one of our personal injury lawyers at Kevin P Landry Law Offices at 401-751-0101 or visit our Providence offices today for a free initial consultation.