When you’re rushed to the emergency room, the last thing you should be worrying about is paying for your medical bills. Sadly, this is the case for many Americans.

Our auto accident lawyers in Newport Beach can tell you there are multiple options depending on fault.

If you are injured in a car accident that is not your fault, the other driver (usually through their insurance company) is responsible for your medical bills.

However, the driver who is at fault will not pay until you settle the case and sign a release. This process can take months and many times years because the insurance process moves at the speed of a snail.

You will have to keep track of all of the medical treatment and procedures that are done as a result of the accident. The treatment usually includes chiropractic, MRI’s, physical therapy, appointments with a medical doctor, and even treatments with a surgeon.

Many people also don’t realize that there is an emotional aspect associated with an accident and the insurance company should compensate you if you see a psychologist or develop PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) as a result of the accident.

The insurance company and the defendant have a duty to compensate you only when the defendant is found liable for the car accident. Being liable for an accident means to be at fault and this can be determined through settlement or at a trial.

You can cover the costs of your medical treatment by using your medical insurance or by treating on a lien. If you have health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid, you can complete your treatment through them.

The only way to have your medical bills paid in advance is if you have MedPay coverage through your vehicle insurance. This is a type of coverage where you can have money available to you for treatment before a matter is resolved. You have to opt for this coverage and it usually makes your vehicle insurance a little more expensive. If you have “Medical Payment” coverage (Med Pay ” for short) under your own car insurance policy, you can use it to reimburse you for any out-of-pocket costs AFTER health insurance has paid, such as health insurance deductibles or copays.

When you settle with the other driver’s insurance company, you will also need to use a portion of that settlement money to reimburse your health insurance, Medicare, or other people who have treated you and not been paid. When you use your health insurance you still have to reimburse them because someone else caused your injury and your insurance wants to be reimbursed for covering your injuries until you have been compensated.

I highly recommend treating on a lien because the doctors you use through health insurance typically have the insurance companies in mind and will do the bare minimum for you. A lien doctor will be paid properly and will give you the golden treatment. Insurance companies are the worst people on the planet and you should always be cautious when dealing with them. Even if it is your “OWN” health or vehicle insurance.

If you need a personal injury attorney in Newport Beach, feel free to reach out with any questions to Joe@accidentlawyersfirm.com.