What do you do after a serious crash in D.C., Maryland or Va that wasn't your fault?
First and foremost, you have to get the medical treatment you need. Hospital stays, surgery, therapy and medications are expensive and you may be thinking that the driver who caused the crash should be responsible for paying your medical treatment - and he should be.
But you need treatment for your injuries now and the most the other driver's insurance company will do is pay you a settlement, usually at the end of the process. They don't pay your hospital and doctor bills as they become due.
And what if the other driver doesn't have insurance or the insurance was cancelled? You could be stuck with all of the medical bills from the accident.
So if you have health insurance, use it for injuries and medical treatment after an accident.
Your health insurance is there to protect you - that's what you paid for, to get the best medical treatment when you need it. Some doctor's offices will tell you that they will only bill the car insurance, or they don't take health insurance for car accidents. They will have you (and your lawyer) sign a form that authorizes the doctor's bills to be paid out of the settlement.
This is a big mistake for several reasons. First, there is no guarantee you will get a settlement or that it will be enough to cover your lost wages, medical bills and future medical care needs - but you will still be responsible for paying the doctor's bills (you can bet that is in the form the doctor's office makes you sign). Plus, the doctor will charge you the full amount of the bills - that's what you have to repay (health insurance bills are always discounted) so even with a good settlement, you end up paying the doctor more!
True, many health insurance plans require you to pay them back for the medical bills they paid after a settlement, called subrogation. But remember, they pay a lot less than the face value of the medical bills. They also may reduce the amount you pay back. And if you live in Virginia, you may not have to pay back the health insurance at all because Virginia has an anti-subrogation law applying to certain health insurance plans.
After getting hurt in a car crash get the medical treatment you need and use your health insurance to do so - both your body and your finances will be better off.
To get more useful tips and information on what you need to do after an accident in D.C., Virginia or Maryland, order your free copy of our e-book, The Ultimate Guide to Accident Cases in the D.C. Metro Area by simply calling (202) 393 - 3320, or ordering it directly from our site.