When there is a car accident, particularly with injuries, your first objective is to make sure you and your passengers are safe. When you get to the hospital, the first question is, “Do you have insurance?”. What do you do? Should you be responsible for filing on your insurance and paying your copays and coinsurance? If not, who is responsible and how do you handle it at the hospital? The following are some steps you can take to ensure you have medical care after an auto accident.
The primary concern, initially, is to make sure everyone is safe, so calling 911 is important. If anyone is bleeding, unconscious, confused or has obvious signs of trauma, they should be checked by a medical professional. If anyone in the car is pregnant, they should consult their OB/GYN or emergency health professional.
Call the Police
When you are hit by another driver who was at fault, it is important to have a police report. They will take statements from the drivers, passengers and witnesses. The officers will also survey and document the scene. The accident report will be important for the insurance companies and the attorneys in the case of a lawsuit. In some states, this may be a requirement after any car accident. People may change their stories later, so it is important to have the police question them at the scene, particularly if damage or injuries are discovered after the accident.
Exchange Car Insurance
Your insurance company will ask you for this, so be prepared. Contacting the at-fault driver’s insurance company may also help you with medical bills even before a settlement.
Call Your Insurers
Once you are sure everyone is safe, call both your car and health insurers to make them aware of the accident. There are a few ways your medical bills may be paid before any settlements.
- The Other Driver’s Auto Insurance – as stated above, some companies may proactively arrange for payment of initial medical bills due to the accident
- Health Insurance – you may have to file on your insurance initially
- Medical Payment Insurance – this is an option on some auto policies that will pay any medical bills or reimburse you for health insurance deductibles or copays
- Deferred Payments – if you cannot pay, a personal injury or car accident lawyer can find healthcare providers that are willing to defer payment until your case is settled
When you have been involved in an accident, call an experienced car accident lawyer for advice on your rights under the law.