Last Updated on July 22, 2021 by Theodore Spaulding
In this video, attorney Ted Spaulding reviews how medical bill payment works during a personal injury case. He also answers the question of who foots the bill.
Who pays my medical bills after a personal injury? Keep watching this video to learn the answer to this question.
Hi, I’m Ted Spaulding. I’m an Atlanta personal injury trial lawyer and I am the founder here at Spaulding Injury Law.
So this question is the root of a large misconception that I’m constantly having to deal with clients. It’s understandable why there’s this misconception, but it’s a really important one to understand and to get right. So the misconception is that after you’ve been injured, because of someone else’s fault, that they’re going to pay for my medical treatment as I go along. It just makes sense. It’s reinforced by insurance. Oh, you know, I was in a car wreck and, of course, their insurance will pay for my treatment. That’s not how it works, ladies and gentlemen. It is not a pay-as-you-go kind of system.
What I tell people is this is a reimbursement system. The law sets it up where the plaintiff, who has been injured, ultimately has to figure out how to pay for their medical treatment as they go along. So no, you are not going to have the at-fault party’s insurance pay for your treatment as you go along. You got to get the treatment, incur the damages, and then get reimbursed from their insurance company for those medical costs. So key to remember, because we’ve got a lot of medical providers out there that are telling folks that no, can’t take health insurance, the at-fault party’s auto insurance will pay for it. No, doesn’t work that way, folks. It just does not happen.
So be very careful. You’ve got to do it, you need to get the treatment that you need, and there’s two ways to do it, depending on what you have. Okay, the first and most important is health insurance. If you’ve got health insurance, by golly, use it. Don’t let the providers tell you you can’t use health insurance. Absolutely, you can use health insurance. If you’re in a wreck or you suffered a trip and fall, use your health insurance, and force them to bill it to your health insurance. Another area, if you’re on an auto wreck, would be if you have medical payments coverage on your auto policy. Now, it’s typically, if you’ve got it, it’s typically not a lot of money. So it won’t cover a ton but it’ll at least give you some benefit there.
And the next way, if you had no health insurance or you have health insurance and it, for some reason, won’t cover, meaning it legally won’t cover, then you need to find treatment. You either got to pay out of pocket or do what? You’ve got to be able to find providers that will treat you on a lien, which is, kind of, like a tab at a bar. They’ll do all the treatment for the months that you need to have it and they’ll keep a running invoice of it. Then you will pay them back out of a settlement or a verdict. Now, this is only your last resort option because as you can see, those bills can add up and it’s going to be more expensive than if it was health insurance paying it. But oftentimes, you have to have a lawyer attached to the case to be able to get one of these providers to treat you on a lien because they’re, kind of, sticking their neck out assuming you’re going to have a settlement or a verdict .
So that is how the system works and these are ways to get the treatment that you need to get while you’re injured and pursuing the ultimate claim against the at-fault party.
Thanks for watching this video. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to me. There’s a couple of ways to do that. You can comment to this video below. You can go to my website, spauldinginjurylaw.com. Or you can leave me a phone call at one of two numbers: 470-695-9950 or 770-744-0780. Thanks for watching this video.
For over 15 years, Mr. Spaulding has helped victims of negligence across the state of Georgia resolve personal injury disputes, and he’s received a remarkable number of awards and honors from the legal community recognizing his commitment to clients and to the metro-Atlanta area.
As an undergraduate, Mr. Spaulding belonged to the Phi Beta Kappa honors fraternity at the University of Georgia, and he obtained his legal training at the Georgia State College of Law, where he clerked for the Honorable Judge Rowland Barnes of the Fulton County Superior Court. Mr. Spaulding has also worked for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Atlanta Enforcement Division. Since 2005, he has dedicated his career to helping the injured victims of negligence and their loved ones win justice in Georgia’s personal injury courts.