For Washington state residents who have been injured in a car accident, getting treatment as quickly as possible is the first step.
For the first few weeks after an accident, you may still be learning the full extent of your injuries. Not only will appropriate medical care help the recovery process move along more quickly and effectively, but it is also the optimal time to establish a documented record of injuries sustained in the accident.
Keeping accurate records of your diagnoses and treatments received protects your legal rights and improves the chances of a successful claim against the at-fault driver and their insurance company.
It is also important to note that different medical providers will have different standards of record-keeping, so to ensure your treatment is properly documented, ask your provider to keep full and accurate records of treatment.
Then comes the big question: Who’s Going to Pay My Medical Bills?
You may be surprised to learn that although the insurance company of the at-fault driver is technically responsible for damages, they may not pay for your medical bills while going through treatment.
Usually, third-party insurance bodily injury claims are resolved in one lump sum. This typically happens once the injured victim has completed their treatment and been released by their medical providers. Until a fair settlement is negotiated with the insurance company, you are left to cover medical expenses either on your own or with the assistance of a Bellingham personal injury lawyer.
Thankfully, Washington state residents have some options.
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Call an Injury Lawyer Before Calling the Insurance Company
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, call (360) 255-5046 to learn more or to schedule an appointment. Ziad Youseff has been helping accident victims get their deserved compensation for more than 12 years.
Remember, we don’t get paid unless you get paid!
PIP is no-fault insurance coverage which means you have access to it, regardless of who is at fault. If you have PIP coverage it also extends to the passengers in your car.
If you have PIP coverage, medical treatment will be covered up to the PIP limit. In Washington, PIP coverage typically comes in limits between $10,000 and $35,000.
Once you’ve hit the PIP limit, you should be able to use your personal health insurance to pay for additional medical treatment. If there is no health insurance, you will either have to pay those costs out of pocket or find a medical provider who is willing to make other arrangements.
There are often cases where it may take time to recover damages, and paying for treatment out of pocket is not an option. Thankfully, many medical providers understand this and will work with you on providing care while your case proceeds. In these times, they may hold or even delay the billing process. This is known as a medical lien.
With this process, you are able to get the medical treatment you need without breaking your bank. At the same time, this also ensures your medical provider will be repaid once your claim has been successfully resolved.
For serious injuries causing disability or extended inability to return to work, federal and state governments may provide coverage through Medicaid disability. However, that process can take several weeks to approve. It may also require an appeal of an initial denial, which could take months.
For serious injuries, the wait for disability benefits is worth it.
Finally, if you have already incurred medical bills and the providers are not willing to wait until the matter is settled, then the medical providers may have a sliding scale or other kinds of repayment programs that keep you out of collections until the case resolves.