If you sustained an injury due to someone else’s negligence, Georgia’s injury laws allow you to file an insurance claim or lawsuit to seek damages from the at-fault party. However, personal injury claims can take time to resolve, and all the while, your medical bills still need to get paid.
So, what are your options for paying your medical bills while your injury claim is still pending? Our personal injury lawyers recommend several possibilities.
Ways to Get Your Medical Bills Covered While Your Claim Has Not Settled
You have several options for paying your medical bills while your insurance claim or lawsuit works its way through the system.
While waiting for your injury claim to settle, you could set up an agreement with your health insurance provider to have your medical expenses covered in the meantime. However, as Georgia prohibits subrogation, health insurance companies do not automatically receive anything from the liable party. Instead, you must first get fully compensated for your economic and noneconomic damages.
An injury attorney would be familiar with subrogation laws and could help write your agreement to prevent the insurer from finding loopholes.
PIP or MedPay Coverage
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Medical Payments (MedPay) are two optional auto insurance coverages in Georgia. PIP insurance can help cover your injury-related costs, which typically include medical treatments and lost wages. Meanwhile, MedPay coverage pays for medical expenses only.
If you carry either of these coverages, you can use them to get your medical bills covered after suffering injuries in a car accident. PIP and MedPay in your auto insurance policy will increase your premiums, but they will shoulder your costs regardless of liability for the crash.
Medicaid and Medicare
Government healthcare insurance programs such as Medicaid and Medicare can also help cover your medical expenses. However, you must first make sure of your eligibility before filing claims.
Medicaid is available only to low-income individuals, while only those over 65 years old or under 65 with disabilities may apply for Medicare. However, if you qualify for Medicaid or Medicare, you can file claims with either program.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If your injury occurred at work because of a third party, your workers’ compensation benefits would help shoulder your medical expenses. Employees can file third-party injury claims or cases while also receiving workers’ comp. A workers’ compensation lawyer can assist with this task.
However, if the employer’s negligence played a role in the injury, you typically cannot file an injury claim against it. Instead, you would have to show your employer was grossly negligent or showed total disregard for safety to be able to sue.
Negotiating With Your Medical Providers
There is also the chance your hospital or other medical providers would agree to let your bills go unpaid until you successfully settle the injury claim. However, this option might only work if you can show the likelihood of successfully (and quickly) settling your claim.
You could get an attorney’s assistance in negotiating terms with your healthcare providers.
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Compiling Your Expenses Is Key to Proper Compensation for Your Injury Claim
The options above could help cover your medical bills while your injury claim pends. However, you will want to keep track of these expenses, especially if you still have ongoing treatments. The more accurate your cost calculations, the more appropriate the amount you could recover in a settlement.
How Sharing Liability Affects What You Recover for Your Medical Bills
One major factor affecting your compensation is whether you share fault for your injuries. As Georgia is a comparative fault state, an insurer or court would reduce your award in proportion to how much liability you have. If your share of fault is over 50 percent, you would not be able to recover any damages.
Before filing the injury claim, it would be best to check whether you have already gathered all available evidence. The more proof you have to back up your claim, the less liability the other party could place on you, thus reducing the percentage deducted from your damages.
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We Offer Personal Injury Law Expertise for Your Injury Claim
It can be challenging to deal with an injury when you do not have the money available to cover your medical bills. If you need further advice on paying for medical bills while your injury claim is still pending, Bader Scott Injury Lawyers is here to help. Our Georgia injury lawyers have many years of experience gathering evidence and ensuring compliance with filing requirements for your claim. We can also speak for you when dealing with insurance providers or going to court.
Our injury practice areas range from auto accidents to dog bites and workers’ compensation. We also handle Social Security Disability claims. If you were recently involved in an accident in Georgia, contact us anytime by phone or through our contact form.