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Who Pays for Medical Bills After a Personal Injury?

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If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of another party, it is crucial that you understand who will pay for your medical bills. The process of securing compensation after an injury can be complicated, particularly when you have to go up against aggressive insurance carriers or well funded at-fault parties that do not want to pay a fair settlement. Here, we want to discuss how you get your initial emergency medical bills paid as well as who will ultimately be responsible for paying for your medical expenses.

The defendant will not have to pay your ongoing medical bills upfront

If another individual, business, or entity causes your injury, they will generally not be responsible for paying for all of your medical expenses as they arise. An unfortunate reality of injury cases is that the victim must find a way to cover their medical bills until they are able to secure compensation through a settlement with insurance carriers or as a result of a personal injury lawsuit. Even if the other party is clearly at fault, the law still does not require them to pay the injury victim’s medical expenses right away.

California is a fault-based injury state, so until the other party can be proven guilty in the case, the injury victim will be responsible for covering their medical bills. Often, this means paying out-of-pocket.

When an injury victim pays out-of-pocket for their medical bills, this can mean a few things:

  • This can literally mean that they are paying out of their own cash, checking, or savings accounts. Unfortunately, paying for medical bills in these situations often requires a person to dig into their long-term savings or retirement accounts just to make ends meet.
  • If a person has personal health insurance coverage, they may be able to use this insurance to cover their additional medical bills.

It is important to point out that if an insurer pays your medical bills in the meantime, whether this is a personal health insurer, Medicare, Medicaid, or another type of insurance, they will generally be entitled to reimbursement from any settlement or favorable verdict compensation against the defendant. In some cases, medical providers will place healthcare liens against any eventual settlement or jury verdict.

What about work-related injuries?

For any person in California who sustains an injury at work, they most likely will not have to pay any medical bills out-of-pocket. The workers’ compensation system in California is designed to be a “no-fault” system that covers injury victim’s medical bills regardless of who caused the injury. There are some cases where an employer or workers’ compensation insurance carrier could deny a claim, but these exceptions are very few.

Working with a personal injury attorney

If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to the actions of another person, business, or entity, you need to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. An Orange County personal injury attorney will be able to assess the entire situation and help evaluate all options when it comes to paying your medical bills while you await a personal injury settlement or a favorable jury verdict.

Covid 19 Update: We are accepting new cases and we handle everything electronically and remotely, so our clients never have to leave their homes.