If someone else is at fault for your injuries, that person (or his or her insurance company) will be liable for paying your medical bills. But there’s a big caveat. Your medical bills will not be paid until you settle your claim, and typically you will not settle your claim until you are done with treatment.
Does this mean you have to pay your medical bills out of your own pocket prior to settling your claim? Generally, no.
First, if this was a car accident, you may have Medical Payments coverage on your own vehicle policy. Often an automobile insurance policy will include $5,000 of Medical Payments coverage. This coverage can be used to pay your medical bills prior to settling your claim.
Second, most health insurers – including Medicare and Medicaid (Green Mountain Care) – will pay for your treatment prior to a settlement. However, if you obtain a settlement, the health insurer will want to be reimbursed out of the settlement. Your lawyer should work to reduce the reimbursement amount going to the health insurer in order to maximize your settlement proceeds.
Finally, if you do not have health insurance, a lawyer can request that medical providers hold the bill until the time when you obtain a settlement.
At Bergeron, Paradis & Fitzpatrick we have been helping injured Vermonters obtain compensation for their personal injuries for over 30 years.