Every month, you faithfully pay your health insurance premiums with the expectation that you and your family will be covered should something unfortunate occur. For the most part, your health insurance company provides the coverage that you paid for – office visits, prescriptions medications, etc. But, what happens when you are injured due to someone else’s negligence, such as in a vehicular collision. As personal injury attorneys, we have seen it all too often.
Here is the scenario – a driver injured in a crash caused by another driver needs medical treatment. The injured driver’s health insurance company refuses to cover the treatment and claims that the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company should cover the medical expenses. But, the other driver’s auto insurance company also refuses to cover the medical expenses on an ongoing basis. Instead, the at-fault driver’s insurance company either denies that it is liable for the medical expenses, or it elects to wait until the injured driver has completed medical treatment and then tries to minimize the amount that it will pay.
So, the injured driver has been abandoned by both the driver’s own health insurance company and the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company. To further complicate things, many healthcare providers will decline to provide medical treatment to the injured driver if there is no available insurance coverage. This creates two problems: 1) the injured driver does not receive needed medical treatment unless the injured driver personally pays the medical bills, and; 2) if the injured driver cannot afford to pay the medical bills, the injured driver’s claims against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance are negatively affected by the lack of medical treatment because insurance companies rely heavily on documented medical treatment when settling injury claims.
If the crash caused injuries that required emergency medical treatment, the injured driver may be left with thousands of dollars worth of medical bills. If these bills are not paid, the emergency medical providers may forward the medical bills to collection agencies. This, of course, negatively affects the injured driver’s credit rating and overall financial status. So, the innocent driver is left injured, unable to obtain necessary medical treatment, with weakening claims against the at-fault driver and, possibly, with the financial consequences of unpaid medical bills.
What should the injured driver do in this situation? The answer is simple – contact an experienced personal injury attorney.
A personal injury attorney may be able to arrange for the injured driver to receive medical treatment without having to pay for the treatment immediately. This ensures that the injured driver gets the medical treatment needed to heal properly. In addition, the needed medical treatment generates medical records and bills – documentation that supports the injured driver’s claims against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If emergency medical treatment was given to the injured driver, a personal injury attorney may be able to persuade the emergency medical providers to delay efforts to collect the medical expenses until the injured driver’s claims are resolved. A personal injury attorney may also be able to negotiate a reduction in medical bills. This means more of the money paid by the at-fault driver’s insurance company will go to compensate the injured driver for the injuries suffered.
Perhaps most importantly, a personal injury attorney will handle virtually all aspects of an injury claim on an injured driver’s behalf and will work to ensure that the injured driver is fairly compensated for the harms and losses suffered. This means that injured drivers can focus on what is truly important – getting better and getting on with their lives.
So, if you or a loved one has been injured by someone else, and abandoned by the insurance companies that should be taking care of you, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. Helping people through the difficulties created by unexpected injuries is what we do.