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Posted On August 5, 2014 Personal Injury

Ask the Attorney: It’s Possible (and Good) to Pay Out-of-Pocket Accident Medical Expenses after Settlement

Asker: Can I request to be billed for copayment when seeing a specialist, like a neurologist, after an accident. I am currently not able to work and can’t pay out of pocket now?

Attorney: Pursuing a personal injury claim can take time, so you might not see the money you deserve for a little while. That shouldn’t prevent you from getting the treatment you need now. You can certainly request that any specialist or other doctor you are seeing after the accident hold off on billing you until the case is resolved – and in fact, doing so might be in your best interests for more than one reason. While it can be done, this is a job best suited to an attorney.

When It’s Okay to Put off Paying

We tend to view procrastination as a bad thing, but after an accident, it often makes perfect sense to wait to pay your portion of your medical bills until after resolving your personal injury claim. You’re not alone in having trouble affording out-of-pocket payments after an accident. It’s very common for injuries to prevent victims from returning to work or, for that matter, from doing other basic tasks essential to their daily lives. You need your money for paying your usual bills and keeping your family financially afloat, especially if you’re not able to work right now.

Of course, you can’t simply neglect to pay your bills. Your attorney can request on your behalf that your doctor treat you now but hold off collecting payments from you until you have gotten a settlement or verdict.

The Benefits of Paying Medical Bills Later

When you request that a medical provider holds off billing you, your personal injury attorney will probably tell you to submit any medical bills you receive to their office to handle. It may sound like such a little thing, but for many accident victims, knowing exactly what to do with the medical bills can provide peace of mind. At a time when you are already stressed, the last thing you need is another source of worry. Watching the medical bills literally pile up, keeping track of the escalating balances, and finding places to store those important documents and keep them organized can certainly add to the challenges you are facing at this crucial time of recovery. With your attorney managing the medical bills instead, you can be sure that nothing is slipping through the cracks and that you’re not responsible for holding onto the paperwork.

Often, a lawyer can not only stand up to the insurance company on your behalf but also work with doctors to negotiate down the amount of money you owe. This means that you won’t have to pay out-of-pocket while your claim is ongoing, and even after settling your case, you still get to keep more of your money. If that’s not a reason to consult a personal injury attorney, I don’t know what is.