Medical Care and Car Accidents in Colorado
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Originally Posted On: https://matlininjurylaw.com/auto-accidents/medical-care-and-car-accidents-in-colorado/
Were you injured during an automobile accident near Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, or Parker, Colorado? Car accidents are all too common and can cause an array of injuries. Injured victims seeking assistance can get help from the professionals at Matlin Injury Law. If you are hurt and have legal questions about how medical care is paid for after a car wreck or during a lawsuit, call us at 720-464-3600.
According to a state highway safety report conducted in 2020, thousands of automobile accidents occur every year in Colorado. When these accidents occur at speeds greater than 35 miles per hour, involve commercial vehicles, or are connected with intoxicated drivers, serious injuries are common.
Have you ever wondered how medical care is paid for after a car accident in the state of Colorado? Who is responsible for paying medical expenses after a car wreck? Insurance providers are responsible for some medical expenses. However, many factors can come into play after a collision. It will all depend on each unique case.
If you were injured in an automobile accident in Parker, Boulder, Denver, Colorado Springs, or any nearby areas in Colorado, hiring a seasoned personal injury attorney may be a wise move. This is especially true if you are the victim of an accident determined to be the fault of another driver. The skilled and experienced personal injury attorney team at Matlin Injury Law is here to answer your questions and walk you through the legal process of claiming damages after an automobile accident.
To learn more, get specific information about your accident or, find out how much your personal injury case is worth, call our team at 720-464-3600. In the meantime, you can read below to learn about medical care and car accidents in Colorado. This helpful guide goes over everything you need to know so that you can proceed confidently with the facts.
How are Medical Bills Paid After a Car Wreck?
If you have been injured in an automobile accident, you are probably wondering who will be held liable for your medical expenses. For the most part, if you were hit by another driver, and that driver was clearly at-fault, their insurance provider will pay all of, or a significant portion of, your medical expenses. Still, this can take some time.
While you wait for your settlement to come through, you might need to pay your bills to prevent them from accumulating interest or going to collections. This is why an attorney is so important. Remember, every situation is different and all of the circumstances surrounding your accident will need to be considered.
Understanding Fault in Colorado
Up until 2003, Colorado was a no-fault state. This meant that damages were often paid by the insurance company of each driver regardless of whether they were responsible for causing an automobile collision. However, Colorado now operates as a modified comparative negligence state. This means that if you have been injured in an automobile accident, the party responsible for the crash will be held liable for paying damages like medical expenses.
With that being said, if you are determined to be the at-fault party (the party to blame) or partially at fault for an accident, you may be held liable for a portion of or all of the collision damages. For instance, if a jury decides that you were responsible for 25% of an accident that caused $10,000 in damages, you would only be awarded $7,500.
Therefore, after the at-fault party for an accident is determined, damages will be awarded. These damages can be used to pay for medical bills, property damage, and so on. Medical insurance providers may also need to be factored in after an accident.
Bearing this in mind, it is very important to proceed carefully after an automobile accident. This means retaining a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible and being cautious about what you say to insurance claims adjusters. If you aren’t sure how to handle things, you might want to wait until an attorney has given you legal counsel.
Who is Responsible for Paying Your Medical Bills After a Car Wreck in Colorado?
It can be complicated to determine who will have to pay for medical expenses after a car accident. In fact, those bills could even wind up being paid by multiple parties. With medical expenses, the victim is ultimately responsible for paying their medical bills. However, the money that they use to pay for their medical bills may come from automobile insurance providers, a structured settlement, a lawsuit, private insurance providers, or somewhere else. It all depends on how things shake out.
If a car accident was not the fault of the victim, the responsible parties will have to compensate the injured victim for what they paid (or still owe) to medical care providers. Even so, you might still have to pay some medical bills out of your own pocket while you wait to collect the compensation owed to you by the at-fault driver’s insurance party. For this reason, it is important to retain the services of a qualified car accident injury attorney right away. Your lawyer will work on your behalf to fight for fair compensation after your accident.
To be sure, after a traumatic wreck, you shouldn’t go it alone in court. Instead, let an experienced personal injury attorney help you get your full settlement amount. At Matlin injury law, we offer free case consultations so you can find out how much your settlement might be worth without risking anything financially. If you are the injured victim of an automobile accident in Colorado and aren’t sure how to pay your medical bills, contact our team as soon as possible.
Factoring In Medical Insurance
So what if you have private medical insurance? Will this cover the medical expenses from your car accident injuries? After all, it can take time to receive a settlement or be awarded the damages you are entitled to after an accident. You obviously don’t want your bills going to collections while you wait for the money from a settlement to arrive. This is where private insurance comes in.
While you are recovering, there is a good chance that your private health insurance coverage will pay for a portion of your medical expenses. This will depend on things like your deductibles, the limits of your plan, and what type of insurance you hold. Nevertheless, if your health insurance provider pays your bills, that provider is entitled to something called subrogation.
Subrogation (sometimes also called Subro), is a way to protect your insurance company from overpaying. It means that if you obtain a settlement or money for damages, the insurance company will be reimbursed for the money that they already used to cover your medical expenses while you were in the hospital or healing from your injuries. This process is in place to prevent you from being compensated more than one time for the same expense.
Does Medicaid or Medicare Pay for a Car Accident?
Just like with private health insurance, Medicaid and Medicare can be used to pay your medical bills while you recover from a car accident and are waiting for your claims to come through. These payments are conditional. When medical care payment providers like Medicaid and Medicare know that you are not responsible for a car accident and will be getting reimbursed, you will be legally obligated to repay the expenses used on your behalf.
After your settlement is complete, you will likely receive a demand letter from Medicare/Medicaid in the mail. This letter will ask for a specific amount to be reimbursed. In most situations, you have 60 days from the date of the demand letter to reimburse Medicare or Medicaid using your settlement money before interest charges begin accumulating.
What About Using MedPay Insurance?
Currently, MedPay is mandatory on all Colorado insurance policies. Before the year 2003, drivers in Colorado were able to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) insurance policies. These policies help them cover their personal medical expenses if they were involved in an automobile accident.
However, ever since Colorado switched to a tort-based system, personal injury protection insurance was no longer needed. As an alternative, insurance carriers were required to offer a minimum of $5,000 in MedPay coverage to injured drivers. Similar to personal injury protection policies, this amount helps to pay for up to $5,000 in personal medical expenses after an automobile accident.
Drivers can opt out of this coverage if they prefer. Or, they can increase the amount of MedPay coverage received after an accident. This can be done by writing a letter to your insurance provider or in some cases, over the phone. However, after an accident, you will not be able to increase your MedPay amount. MedPay adjustments must be done before an accident occurs.
What to Do With Medical Bills After Your Car Wreck?
If you receive medical bills in the mail after your automobile accident, send a copy of everything to your lawyer. These copies will then go into your legal records. This will help your attorney get the best possible settlement for you.
You should always keep copies of all your bills after a car wreck, even if you don’t have an attorney yet. After all of your medical treatment is complete, a lawyer may also decide to request copies of your bills from your medical care providers with your consent. Those bills can then be submitted to the responsible party’s insurance provider.
If you can pay your medical bills while you wait for your settlement to come through, pay the portion that you owe and keep track of what your insurance provider paid on your behalf. If you don’t have insurance, there might be certain financial assistance options available to you in Colorado. However, some of these medical bill payment options are limited by time. If you plan to apply for financial assistance or Medicaid to help pay for your medical bills, do so within 60 days of your automobile accident.
Paying Medical Bills As You Wait for a Settlement
Unfortunately, until your settlement arrives, it is your responsibility to pay for your medical bills. If you fail to pay your medical bills, your credit score could be damaged or your bills could begin to accumulate interest.
While You Wait, You Should:
- Ask Medical Providers to Put Accounts on Hold if You Can’t Pay
- Contact a Lawyer for Assistance Filing Claims or a Lawsuit
- Do Not Ignore Your Bills or Let Them Go to Collections
- Consider Making Minimum Payments
- See if You Qualify for Any Financial Assistance Programs
- If you are a victim and can’t pay your bills, you should contact your medical providers. Inform them that those bills are the result of an accident that is not your fault. You can let them know that you are in the process of litigation or that you are working with a lawyer to get a settlement. They may be able to put your account on hold until the case settles.
In many situations, companies will work with injured victims to help ease their financial burdens while they are waiting for their damages to arrive. If a hospital or medical provider will not allow you to put your account on hold, they may let you make small payments while you wait for your settlement to arrive to prevent any of your charges from going to collections.
Don’t ignore your medical bills. Instead, call all of your medical care providers and ask to work with them. In most cases, they will offer solutions that help in some small way. The suffering, pain, and stress that come from your recovery and these frustrating processes may be considered in your settlement. So, you can bring this up with your attorney as well.
Let An Attorney Work on Your Behalf
Don’t forget that medical bills are often negotiable. Moreover, an attorney can work on your behalf to ensure that you get the maximum settlement amount that you are entitled to. Even though after a car wreck, many things will depend on the complexity of your accident case and the specifics surrounding the collision, a personal injury lawyer can help to take much of the burden away.
Your lawyer will communicate with the other driver’s insurance provider. An attorney can also help you get the necessary evidence to determine who was really at fault for an accident. In many cases, your attorney will be paid out of the settlement amount, saving you from having to worry about yet another bill. Also, a lawyer can help you organize and tally up your medical bills so that when you do get a settlement, it will go to the right people.
Calculating Pain and Suffering After an Automobile Accident
Don’t forget, after a car accident, pain and suffering must also be calculated. Although there is a $500,000 cap on non-economic damages like pain and suffering, many settlements will offer a reasonable amount to compensate you for your discomfort. This money does not have to be paid to your insurance providers.
Pain and suffering are calculated based on many factors. These factors may include your ability to pursue your hobbies and interests after an automobile accident, how much a car wreck impacted your day-to-day life, whether the accident has interfered with your ability to earn income, and more. To find out what your pain and suffering are worth, talk to your personal injury attorney. They can help you come up with a ballpark figure.
Are You the Injured Victim of a Car Wreck and Need Help Paying Your Medical Bills? Call Matlin Injury Law Now.
Injured drivers in Colorado require attorneys that can work hard behind the scenes while they focus on getting their lives back on track. You should hire a competent lawyer that will consider every aspect of your unique case. After all, if you are hurt, the last thing you need is legal stress. Matlin Injury Law is here to help! At our personal injury firm serving Parker, Colorado Springs, and beyond, we want to answer all of your questions to help you make informed legal decisions.
Our team will do everything we can to get you the compensation you actually deserve. We can offer competent legal advice and uncover what your settlement is truly worth. Our staff of skilled and experienced personal injury lawyers will examine every aspect of your automobile accident case to ensure that you achieve the best possible legal and financial resolutions. To learn more or speak with a lawyer, call 720-464-3600 or use our convenient 24/7 contact page.