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How Do I Pay My Medical Bills Until I Get My Settlement? 

Jun 24, 2024 | Personal Injury

If you were injured in a car accident, the medical expenses can quickly add up. You may be wondering how your bills will be paid while you are out of work — and your case is pending. In order to avoid economic strain on you and your family, there are a few options for easing the financial burden. While a personal injury case can take months or even years to reach a resolution, you may be entitled to no-fault benefits or be able to treat on a medical lien before you obtain your settlement.       

Apply for No-Fault Benefits

No-fault, also referred to as “personal injury protection” (PIP), can be crucial after a car accident. These first-party benefits can cover up to $50,000 in economic damages — regardless of who was at fault for the accident. This can include compensation for reasonable and necessary medical costs and 80% of lost wages incurred in the motor vehicle accident, up to $2,000 a month. 

Specifically, no-fault can cover the costs associated with the following:

  • Ambulance transportation
  • X-rays and MRIs
  • Surgery expenses
  • Prescription drugs
  • Psychiatric treatment
  • Physical therapy
  • Durable medical equipment

Importantly, to receive no-fault benefits, you must apply within 30 days of the car accident. This can be done by filing a Form NF-2 with the applicable insurance company. Failure to file for benefits within the applicable time frame can result in you forgoing your right to do so.  

Health Insurance

Your health insurance can help to cover the costs of your medical bills after a car accident — but only after you have exhausted your no-fault coverage. However, as with all insurance policies, you’re typically responsible for paying your deductible and other costs your insurer doesn’t cover before the policy will kick in. If you file a claim with the at-fault party’s car insurance company and receive a settlement, your health insurance carrier could invoke their subrogation rights to recover any money that was spent to cover your medical costs. Subrogation is meant to help ensure the insurance company is repaid for the money that they’ve paid out.

Treat on a Medical Lien

Another option you might have to pay your medical bills while you wait to receive your settlement is treating on a medical lien. This is a legally binding agreement between a healthcare provider and a patient. It helps to ensure medical providers are compensated for their services. However, it should be noted that medical liens are not offered by every provider.    

Liens are not the same as debts. They do not attach to your personal property — only the proceeds of the settlement. When a lien is filed, the entity fronts the costs of the medical care up front. The lien is then paid from the personal injury settlement before you can take your share. Although medical liens can often be substantial, a good personal injury lawyer will know how to negotiate a lower payment for a medical lien. In the event a plaintiff does not prevail in their case, they would still be personally liable to the healthcare provider for the costs of the lien.   

Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney 

If you were in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, carelessness, or recklessness, it’s important to have a skillful attorney by your side who can protect your rights and help ensure you obtain the monetary compensation to which you’re entitled. With a strategic focus on maximizing recovery for each of our clients, The Edelsteins, Faegenburg & Brown, LLP regularly obtains substantial settlements and jury verdicts. Located in Manhattan, our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout New York City since 1937. Call to schedule a free consultation at (212) 425-1999 today.




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