This post discusses medical bills after a NC Motor Vehicle Accident. Read on for more information on how to handle these bills.
NC Personal Injury Claims
NC is a contributory negligence state which means that if you are even 1% at fault for your car accident, you can not recover your losses. If the accident was not your fault, you can recover the costs of your doctor bills, lost wages and be compensated for your pain and suffering. Punitive damages are rarely awarded. In order for you to recover from NC Personal Injury Litigation, you must file your case in court before the statute of limitations runs out.
After being injured in a car accident that was not your fault, you sought medical care or maybe even an ambulance was called to the accident scene for you. You went to the hospital and/or medical provider’s office, medical tests were ran and perhaps a medication/medical device or physical therapy, etc. was prescribed for the injuries you sustained in the accident.
While trying to recover from your injuries and get back to work, you receive a large medical bill(s) with notices saying that past due amounts can be reported to credit reporting agencies. You begin to feel that you are being punished for someone else’s mistake. What can you do?
Medical Bills After NC Car Accident
Medical bills after a NC Car Accident can be handled in a few different ways. Many of our clients file claims with their own health insurance initially. If you do not have health insurance, watch our video above for ways that you can seek medical treatment.
Next, you should file a claim with the at-fault driver’s car insurance carrier. Personal Injury claims and Property Damage claims are usually handled by different adjusters. The personal injury adjuster may want you to do a recorded statement or ask you for a list of your medical providers so they can obtain your medical records/bills. A personal injury claim can take substantial time.
If your auto insurance has medical payments coverage (Med-Pay) you may be able to recover some of your medical expense that way. Lastly, you can enter into a payment arrangement with the medical provider if you do not have health insurance.
If the driver that caused the car accident does not have car insurance, your last resort is to file a claim under your own uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) is required in NC while underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) is required when policy limits are greater than the NC minimum ($30,000 Bodily Injury for each person, $60,000 total Bodily Injury for all persons in an accident and $25,000 for Property Damage).
Do you have to pay your own health insurance company back?
If you file under your own insurance, and later settle your personal injury claim, your private health insurance may need to be repaid via medical liens. When a health insurance company has paid some or all of an accident victim’s accident-related medical expenses, often times they will claim a right of reimbursement or subrogation to any recovery proceeds paid to the accident victim from the at-fault driver’s insurance company for accident-related medical expenses. Most health insurance companies state a right to reimbursement in their plan’s language. However, North Carolina Department of Insurance regulation states in its language,
“Life or accident and health insurance forms shall not contain a provision allowing subrogation of benefits.” 11 N.C. Admin. Code 12.0319.
This North Carolina regulation does not allow health insurance plans to recover any of an accident victim’s settlement proceeds. However, it is extremely important to note that there are many exceptions to this North Carolina regulation, therefore allowing some health insurance plans to seek reimbursement from an accident victim’s settlement proceeds.
For example, Medicare, Medicaid, and different types of self-funded health insurance plans are allowed to seek reimbursement for any payment of an accident victim’s auto accident-related medical expenses. These types of health insurance subrogation matters can become complicated and have dire consequences if not handled by an experienced NC car accident attorney.
Do you need a NC Car Accident Attorney?
If the at-fault driver’s insurance won’t pay for your medical expenses you can try to recover your expenses through a NC Personal Injury case. Please remember that insurance companies make money by insuring people not by paying injury claims. Do not rely on the at-fault driver’s insurance company to tell you what you can and can not be compensated for after an auto accident.
If the at-fault insurance company is unwillingly to pay for your medical expenses it is a good idea to contact a NC Auto Accident Attorney who can advise you of your rights and ensure that you receive all compensation your are entitled to. The last thing that you need is medical providers reporting delinquent accounts on your credit for medical treatment you received due an accident caused by someone else!
The Bishop Law Firm can help with your medical bills after a NC car accident. We represent personal injury accident victims in Raleigh, Cary, Fayetteville, Durham, Rocky Mount, Wilson, Smithfield, Louisburg, Chapel Hill, Roanoke Rapids and surrounding areas in North Carolina. Give us a call today, (919) 615-3095 for a free case evaluation!
Also read NC Car Accident Injuries and Settlements