Who Pays My Medical Bills After a Car Crash?

Whenever you’re injured and need medical treatment, you’ll have to find a way to pay for your healthcare. This is true if you’re injured on your own property, while playing sports, while travelling in a foreign country, or while injured in an accident due to no fault of your own. Suppose you’re in a car crash and you need medical care. Who pays your medical bills? You or the at-fault driver?

The other driver may be at-fault and there is no question about liability, but it’s important that you know you are responsible for your ongoing medical bills. Whether you’re admitted to the hospital, or you visit a chiropractor or specialist, such as an orthopedic doctor, all of these healthcare providers will require you to sign forms agreeing to take full financial responsibility for your medical treatment.

The only exception to this rule is car accidents that occur in no-fault states, but South Carolina is an at-fault state, which means injured parties (plaintiffs) can sue those whose negligence caused their injuries. “South Carolina is a tort liability state, which means the no-at-fault person can pursue a claim against the at-fault party,” according to the South Carolina Department of Insurance.

Defendants Don’t Pay Ongoing Medical Expenses

It may be abundantly clear that the at-fault driver (the defendant) is responsible for your injuries. For example, perhaps you were hit by a drunk driver or by a distracted driver coming from the opposite direction who veered into your lane of traffic, causing a head-on collision with your vehicle.

Even still, the at-fault driver is not responsible for paying each medical bill as it arrives in the mail. Instead, they’re supposed to pay your damages through a personal injury settlement. This means, your medical bills won’t get paid by the at-fault party’s insurance carrier until you accept a settlement or (less commonly) a jury issues a verdict at trial.

Placing a Lien on the Plaintiff’s File

So, how do you pay for your medical bills in the meantime? If you have “Medical Payments Coverage” on your auto insurance policy, it should pay for your medical bills up to the policy’s med pay limits, which is usually less than $10,000. Anything beyond the med pay limits, you’re responsible for.

Related: Who Pays for a Personal Injury Claim?

At Jones & Swanson, what we do is place a lien on our clients’ files. This directs the healthcare providers to hold off on billing the client until their car accident claim is settled. This way, the plaintiff can continue receiving quality medical care without having to worry about paying their medical bills out-of-pocket.

Need a Smyrna car accident lawyer? Contact us at Jones & Swanson to get started.