Despite all of the new safety measures in cars and on the road, the number of car crashes in Idaho increased from 2014 to 2015. This goes to show that even if you are a careful driver, you are never immune from a crash.

“Who is going to pay my medical bills after a car crash?” This is a common question after an accident, for good reason. The costs of treatment quickly add up, and it can be harder to heal if you’re mentally and emotionally burdened.

In Idaho, the law generally states that the at-fault driver needs to pay for medical bills, but they actually aren’t obligated to pay until you win a settlement.

You have to find a way to pay your bills until you win a settlement. We understand that this process can be very stressful, but take a deep breath and have a look at this guide to paying your medical bills after a car crash.

Does Car Insurance Help?

Idaho is a bit unique since it does not require drivers to carry no-fault car insurance. But that doesn’t mean car insurance can’t help.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP Insurance)

  • The insurance provider pays the medical costs of people injured by a driver it represents.
  • Drivers in Idaho are not required to carry PIP, but it is a good idea.
  • If the other driver isn’t insured and can’t pay for your medical bills, you will have to pay for them through your own insurance until you win a settlement.
    • After you win a settlement, the other driver’s insurance company will cover all of your medical expenses. Here’s what to do until your PIP or other insurance policy benefits come:

How to Pay Your Medical Bills Until You Win a Settlement

  1. Your Own Health Insurance
    • As a health insurance owner, you can ask the hospital to forward the medical bills straight to your insurance company.
    • Your bills get paid, and they won’t be sent to a collection company and affect your credit, even though they’re accident-related.
    • One potential negative of this is that some insurance policies require that you pay co-pays and deductibles (usually 20%) immediately.
  2. Set Up A Lien with the Help of an Attorney
    • What’s a lien?
      • It’s an agreement that can usually only be set up with the help of an attorney. It is an agreement made between you, the medical provider, and your attorney that the medical provider will wait until your case is settled to charge you for their services.
    • This is a great option because if a lien is successful, you can check medical bills off of your list until the case is over.
    • Some medical providers don’t accept liens.
  3. Pay In Cash for a Discount
    • Paying in cash usually gets you a discount.
    • You can offer to make monthly payments and keep a current account, which can help you avoid the credit damage of having your bills sent to a collections company.
    • This is only possible if you have enough money to pay for large medical bills. If you do, it’s a good option.
  4. Let the Bills Go
    • You can let the bills go to the collections company, which may seem unwise — but some collection companies will accept liens, even if your medical provider won’t.
    • Some collection companies won’t accept liens.
      • Those that do can still record the overdue payment on your credit report.

You Might Owe the Insurance Company

Many people aren’t aware that there are laws that require you to pay back your insurance company once you’ve received settlement money. Go through your insurance policy with your attorney to see if you need to do this.

If your medical bills after a car crash are skyrocketing, or if you’re suspicious (rightfully so) that a provider is being dishonest, you need an attorney. We are experienced with helping clients recover from car accidents. Contact us today and set up a free consultation so that we can help you get the settlement you need.

Photo Courtesy of Jarmoluk and Pixabay

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