Getting your medical bills paid is a priority after a car accident in South Carolina. But if you’re like most people, you are unsure of who pays first — the auto insurance company, or your health insurance provider.
It’s a good question that can have somewhat different answers, depending on your own insurance coverage and whether the at-fault driver has insurance. The experienced South Carolina car accident attorneys at Stewart Law Offices can determine the best way for your claim to proceed in a free consultation.
Call or contact us today to get started.
Will Health Insurance Cover My Injuries After an Accident?
Your health insurance coverage can pay for your car accident injuries, regardless of how they happened. What typically happens is your health insurance company will first ask you to pay the usual co-payments and deductible, and then they’ll pay their portion according to the terms of your policy.
You should turn to your health insurance first to pay for your car accident expenses. Obtaining a settlement through the at-fault driver’s insurance company takes time, and getting the necessary treatment when you need it should always be the priority. Keeping all receipts and medical records can show the auto insurance company what was paid during this time. The health insurance provider may be allowed to recover any payments they made through a process called subrogation later.
Health Insurance vs. Auto Insurance
Your health insurance policy will pay for your medical expenses after a crash, but those are not the only types of losses that you can be compensated for after a car accident. Beyond medical expenses, car insurance companies provide crash victims with compensation for:
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Long-term care needs, such as full-time nurses or home health aides
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Lost enjoyment of life
An adjuster from the at-fault driver’s company will investigate the accident and make a settlement offer taking these factors, along with your medical expenses, into account. Usually, this offer is far below what you deserve. An accomplished lawyer from Stewart Law Offices can represent you during these negotiations so that you are not shortchanged.
If you were struck by an uninsured motorist, you may be required to turn to your own auto insurance coverage to cover your losses. Purchasing uninsured motorist coverage is required in South Carolina. Underinsured motorist coverage (to protect you if the at-fault driver did not have enough insurance to cover your injuries) is not mandatory, but highly recommended.
Medicare and Medicaid After an Accident
After a car accident, Medicare and Medicaid coverage can be used to pay your medical bills. However, you must report the accident to The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The attorneys at Stewart Law Offices can take care of this for you.
Medicare or Medicaid will then place a lien on the amount they paid. This lien will ensure the government can be reimbursed for the money they spent to cover your medical treatment after the car accident. An advantage of having your car accident lawyer file the report for you is that he or she may be able to get the costs reduced by negotiating the amount of the lien.
How Can Stewart Law Offices Help Me?
At Stewart Law Offices, we know how high the cost of medical bills can be after a car accident. Our skilled attorneys strive to recoup those losses and restore your sense of financial security again.
With five offices across South Carolina and North Carolina, our law firm provides comprehensive legal services that put your needs first. To learn more about how we can help, call or contact us today to schedule a free consultation.