However, you can’t know how much your current and future medical expenses will be until you have more or less recovered from your injuries, and your recovery could be a long one if you’ve sustained the severe injuries that are common in truck crashes. Once you do know the cost of your treatment and file a claim, the insurer might dispute, deny, or delay that claim, so the process of getting fair compensation for your damages could take months or even years if you have to file a lawsuit and seek a fair award in court. Meanwhile, the bills piling up now are your responsibility and need to be paid in a timely fashion.
Other Sources of Compensation
While awaiting your settlement, you can pursue compensation for your medical expenses from alternate sources, including your own auto insurance, your health insurance, and MedPay. In rare cases, you could even get some help from workers’ compensation.
Your Own Auto Insurance
Your car insurance policy probably includes no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) to cover medical expenses and even a percentage of lost income due to your injuries. Your PIP coverage, however, could be capped at $2,500 unless you’ve chosen to pay for a higher limit. If not, you might get enough from your insurer to help with lost wages but not enough to pay the high medical bills that usually result from a truck accident.
Medical Payment Insurance (MedPay)
MedPay is optional coverage available to you as part of your auto insurance policy. It covers medical bills (up to your coverage limits) for you and your passengers, as well as deductible amounts and other fees not covered by your health insurance. MedPay does not cover lost wages.
Your Health Insurer
If you have health insurance, you can generally submit bills for your medical treatment to your insurer for prompt payment, although you may be charged a co-payment or deductible amount, depending on the details of your policy. Once you do receive your settlement from the at-fault trucker’s insurance company, your health insurance carrier can file a subrogation lien against your award to recoup its money.
If you don’t have any health insurance, you might be able to convince your health care providers to wait for payment until your case is settled. If they agree, you and your lawyer will have to sign an authorization and assessment contract giving your doctors, the hospital, and other creditors the right to collect their bills from your settlement.
If your accident occurred while you were driving in the course of performing your job duties, you can probably file a workers’ compensation claim. If your claim is successful, workers’ comp will pay all your medical bills and reimburse two-thirds of the income you lose while off work for treatment and recovery.
Don’t Accept a Lowball Settlement Offer
After your accident, adjusters from the at-fault party’s insurer, who know you’re probably worried about your mounting medical bills, may contact you and offer a quick settlement. If they do, the offer will be a low one that will likely not cover your future medical expenses, which you can’t estimate yet. If you agree to such a settlement, you can never ask for more money for your damages, no matter what your future expenses might be. You should never accept a quick settlement offer without consulting a truck accident lawyer first.
Have You Been Injured in a Truck Accident in Maryland?
An experienced truck accident attorney can help you seek alternate sources of compensation for medical bills while pursuing your insurance claim or fighting for you in court. Please contact us online, or call us at 301-790-3600 to schedule a free consultation. You pay no attorney fees unless we win your case.