Medical bill and health insurance form with calculator

MEDICAL BILLS: The Who, What, When and How After a Personal Injury

THIS ARTICLE DISCUSSES MEDICAL BILLS CAUSED BY PERSONAL INJURIES:

  • Who is responsible for payment?
  • What to expect?
  • When is payment due?
  • How are medical bills satisfied so my credit is not affected?

Every personal injury that causes physical pain leaves you with medical bills.  Payment is always a major concern.  Payment problems can destroy your credit, or worse, cause bankruptcy.  This article gives you the “big picture.”

Who Is Responsible for Payment?

The short answer is simple: you are primarily responsible to pay your medical bills until your health care provider receives payment.  So, the first step is to determine who you can hold legally responsible for payment of your medical bills.  If you have health insurance of some kind, then you must contend with high deductible payments and within the fine print of your health insurance contract are subrogation and reimbursement clauses that allow your health insurance carrier to make a claim against your personal injury recovery, but that is the subject of another article on case liens.

Who you can hold responsible for your medical bills depends on the type of case you have.  Does the case involve a motor vehicle such as a semi-truck and trailer, a work truck, or a personal family automobile?  Did the injury occur on public or private property?  Was the injury caused by a professional, such as a doctor?  Even cases involving marine and inland waterways have different ways to determine who ultimately is responsible for payment of your medical bills.

What to Expect?

Let’s look at a few different types of cases.  This will give you the “big picture”  on what to expect.  We will discuss “primary” and “secondary” responsibility for payment of medical bills.  Primary means “first in line” to pay your medical bills.  Secondary means “next in line” to pay your medical bills.  In some injury cases, three or more different entities may be”in line” to pay your medical bills.

Motor Vehicle Collision Injuries:   In Kentucky, motor vehicle injuries are first paid by the insurance carrier of the automobile in which you were injured.  This is called Personal Injury Protection Coverage, or PIP for short.  PIP coverage is usually capped at $10,000 unless more coverage was purchased.  After PIP pays, your personal health insurance pays.  If you do not have health insurance coverage, then you must make arrangements to pay your medical bills out of personal funds, or make arrangements to settle your personal injury case with the at-fault party so you have funds to pay your medical bills.  Burman Law takes care of this settlement process for you.  Tennessee injuries are handled differently.  Tennessee law does not require PIP coverage.  You can voluntarily purchase medical payment coverage but you are not required to do so.  If you do not have medical payments coverage, then your personal health insurance pays.  If you do not have health insurance coverage, then you must make arrangements to pay your medical bills out of personal funds, or make arrangements to settle your personal injury case with the at-fault party so you have funds to pay your medical bills.  Again, Burman Law takes care of this settlement process for you.

Work-Related Injuries:  In Kentucky and Tennessee, there is an administrative process that requires you to give notice of a work injury to your employer, and then your employer connects you to an insurance adjuster who pays the medical bills related to your work injury.

Slips and Falls:  In Kentucky and Tennessee if you slip and fall on public or private property due to negligence, then the owner of the property turns your medical bills over to the property owner’s business insurance.  Some business insurance policies provide for immediate payment of $1,000 or $5,000 for medical bills.

Dog Bites:  In Kentucky and Tennessee, dog bite injuries are paid by the dog’s owner, who may or may not have insurance.

Nursing Home and Child Care:  In Kentucky and Tennessee, nursing home and child care injuries are paid by the owner’s business insurance.  Some business insurance policies provide for immediate payment of $1,000 or $5,000 for medical bills.

Malpractice Cases:  In Kentucky and Tennessee, malpractice claims are paid by the professional’s malpractice insurance.

When Is Payment Due?  

When you receive medical services, you make a contract with that medical provider for payment.  It is up to you to determine who has responsibility for payment.  Find out from your medical provider when payment is due, or contact Burman Law for assistance.  We help all our clients determine the best Plan of Action for the payment of medical bills.

How Are Medical Bills Satisfied So My Credit Is Not Affected?

You must be pro-active.  You cannot wait until the last minute.  Satisfying your medical bills is a process in every personal injury case.  At Burman Law, our client portal allows you to easily upload a medical bill to us so we can review it and develop a Plan of Action.  Your good credit is important.  Protect it with the experience Burman Law provides.  We do not charge one penny extra to handle your medical bill credit issues, that is all part of our fee agreement with you.

Contact Burman Law for Assistance

At Burman Law, our 25+ years of experience gives you someone on your side when a bill collector calls.   Whether you are facing the collection of medical bills in Kentucky or Tennessee, we have straight answers and practical solutions for every situation.  Contact Mike Burman for a free consultation.

Sources

http://insurance.ky.gov/PPC/static_info.aspx?static_id=24&Div_id=15
https://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/auto-accident/no-fault-insurance-claim-work.html

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