WITTENSTEIN & WITTENSTEIN
QUEENS NYC PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS HELP YOU GET YOUR MEDICAL BILLS PAID
One of the first questions people have after an accident is “How do I get my medical bills paid?” How medical bills get paid in New York depends on the type of case you have. Here’s a summary of some different types of cases and how the medical bills can get paid:
- If you are a driver or a passenger, your medical bills are usually paid by the insurance for the car you are in. If you are a bicyclist or pedestrian, the medical bills should be paid by the offending vehicle, but problems could come up if they deny involvement in the accident, in which case you might need to file with a “car in your household” or with MVAIC. You have 30 days to file this application. You must treat with doctors that accept “no-fault” insurance rates. Your health insurance will not cover you for medical bills from a car accident. You will be required to appear for the insurance company at Independent Medical Exams (IME’s) and failure to attend could jeopardize your benefits. Sometimes the insurance company will refuse to pay for a medical service, deeming it “not medically necessary,” and your doctor can arbitrate this decision. Most policies provide for $50,000 per person coverage, which can sometimes be expended, especially since the coverage is also for “lost earnings.” For more information on this topic, see our blog post, “Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About No-Fault.”
- If you are working at the time of the accident, your bills are usually covered by worker’s compensation insurance, but there are exceptions, especially for certain types of professional drivers (see TAXI DRIVERS.) With worker’s compensation insurance many tests and procedures must be “pre-approved,” so there can be a long wait for testing such as MRI’s, but with persistence, you should be able to get the testing and treatment you need. Workers Compensation will only be entitled to a lien on your case if your medical bills, lost earnings and out-of-pocket expenses total more than $50,000. It is a good idea to have a Worker’s Compensation Attorney in addition to a Personal Injury Attorney in these cases. For more information, see our article on Workers Compensation.
In New York, you generally cannot sue your employer and a limited to collecting Workers Compensation. There are exceptions especially for Construction Accidents and when a third party is responsible. In these cases the medical bills and lost earnings are paid by Workers Compensation while the claim proceeds against the third party. For example, you are working as a receptionist and are injured when a delivery service drops a package on your foot. Workers Compensation will pay medical bills while the claim proceeds against the delivery service.
OTHER TYPES OF ACCIDENTS AND ACTIONS
There is no automatic coverage for medical bills for accidents other that traffic accidents. Sometimes the owner’s insurance will have “med pay,” but that will only be paid once they accept responsibility for the accident, which they are not generally willing to do early on when the treatment is needed. If you have health insurance, you can use it for these cases. If you do not have any coverage your attorney will try their best to get you treatment by promising a “lien” on your case where the doctors get paid out of the final settlement.
If you are concerned about how your bills will be paid, please call Wittenstein & Wittenstein for a free consultation. We can apply the law to your specific situation and get you answers. You can come to our beautiful townhouse office in Forest Hills or we can go to you. Call 718-261-8114 to make an appointment.