You probably think that there is nothing to the medical bill component of your Personal Injury claim. They will send them in the mail and that’s it… Right?
Half the time, you won’t even get your medical bills in the mail. And even if you do, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your insurance is going to pay them. To ensure that you receive all of the bills and that your insurance company pays them promptly, work will need to be
Types of Medical Bills After an Accident
It is important to get treatment for the injuries you sustained in an accident. If you went to the hospital, chances are you will receive three different bills: one for the emergency department, one for the physicians in the emergency department and one for the radiology department. Further, if you were taken to the hospital by paramedics, you will have a separate bill with the fire department.
But the bills don’t stop there. If you saw a chiropractor, they will have a separate bill too. You will most likely also have a bill for the consultation you went to for the determination of your Emergency Medical Condition. Don’t forget about your MRIs – if you got an MRI, that’s another bill. We won’t even go into the possibility of surgery. If you have any kind of surgery done, then you will have separate bills for the surgeon, anesthesiologist, surgical center, any implant devices and perhaps even a surgical monitoring company…
You get the point. There are many different forms of medical bills you can incur after an accident. The bills and records will add up. You’ll need to keep track of the various providers.
After determining all of the different providers who will have their own bills, you will want to contact them. This is to make sure they have your car insurance information for proper billing. Confirm that they have your claim number and claim
Utilizing a Letter of Protection
Many times, the medical providers will ask for your health insurance information as well. As opposed to giving them that information, you can also ask if they would be willing to have a Letter of Protection (LOP) instead. The LOP is a form which simply says you promise to pay them the remaining balance out of the settlement of the case. Most medical providers will have their own LOPs that they can give you to sign.
The reason you may want to utilize an LOP as opposed to your health insurance is because you can negotiate your bill directly with the doctor when you are done treating. Many health insurance companies do not negotiate the reimbursement of the money they are entitled to, depending on what kind of a policy it is.
Putting Together the Demand Package
Once you are done treating with doctors for your injuries, the next step will be putting together the Demand Package. What’s important to know is that copies will be needed of all of your medical records from every appointment. This includes the hospital records (provided you went), and any other medical professionals you went to. These could include:
- Chiropractic records
- Orthopedist records
- Dental records
- Primary care physician record
Don’t worry about the records until you are done treating. Once that happens, a Request for Medical Records and a Request for Billing Statement will be sent to each provider along with a HIPAA Authorization. This allows the medical provider to release the records and billings statements which are used to prove the damages in the case.
Some doctors will provide the copies free of cost and will even email it or fax it if you ask them. Others will have a copy company provide the records and charge you up to a $1 a page. Regardless, the records are needed and so the charges must be paid if there happens to be one. Remember though, Personal Injury cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay anything unless and until your attorney is able to recover money for your injuries.
A Note About Pre-Existing Conditions
Many times, it becomes necessary to assemble medical records from every doctor you ever visited for a period of five years before the accident even happened. Sounds crazy, right? But many times the insurance adjustor will demand to see those records to try to prove that the current injuries existed before the accident. This is what is known as a pre-existing condition. These medical records can also work in your favor to disprove the insurance adjustor’s claims of a pre-existing condition.
Our Personal Injury Lawyers Are Ready to Help You
Regardless of the types or amounts of medical bills and