medical bills after a bike crash

In spite of all the safety precautions taken by cyclists, bicycle accidents are still unfortunately common. On top of physical and emotional recovery, the question of what to do about medical bills after a bike crash can be hard to answer.

After dealing with any immediate medical needs, you should file a claim with the car insurance company of the driver that caused the accident. The paperwork and technicalities involved in this can become confusing and stressful, but don’t panic. Here are a few basic facts and explanations that can help you pay your medical bills after a bike crash.

Who Pays My Medical Bills After a Bike Crash?

All drivers in Utah are required to carry Personal Injury Protection insurance, which should pay for the medical treatment of people they injure in an accident. If you are covered by the same insurance as the driver, the company may help with additional coverage.

If a driver is clearly at fault and you win a settlement, their insurance company will write a check to cover everything. You still have to figure out a way to pay for medical bills until the case is settled, though. Here are a few of your options:

  • Health Insurance
    • If you have health insurance, have the hospital forward bills to your health insurance company.
      • Pros: Health insurance companies will pay the bills and keep them from being sent to a collection company and affecting your credit, even though they’re accident-related.
      • Cons: Some policies require that co-pays and deductibles be paid, leaving you responsible for 20% of the expenses.
  • Set up a lien with your medical provider
    • A lien is an agreement that is usually only possible when an attorney is representing you. It is an agreement between you, the medical provider, and your attorney that the medical provider will wait for payments until your case is settled.
      • Pros: If a lien is successful, you don’t have to worry about medical bills until your case is over.
      • Cons: Some medical providers don’t accept liens.
  • Pay cash/monthly payments
    • Pros: Paying in cash usually gets you a discount. You can also offer to make monthly payments and keep the account current. This can help you avoid having your bills sent to collections, which negatively affects your credit.
    • Cons: Not everyone has the ability to pay cash for large, unexpected medical bills.
  • Let the bill go to collections and then set up a lien with the collection company
    • Pros: Some collection companies will accept liens, even if your medical provider won’t.
    • Cons: Some collection companies that accept liens will still record the overdue payment on your credit report.

Do I Have to Pay Back the Insurance Company?

This may be a surprise to you, but the answer is often yes. There are state and federal laws that require you to reimburse your own insurance company with money you recover in a personal injury settlement.

  • Be sure you review your insurance policy with your attorney to find out if you need to reimburse your insurance company.
  • The company’s right to be reimbursed is called “subrogation” and is a complicated element of the law and insurance- discuss it with your attorney soon after the accident.

You may not be sure if you need a lawyer or not. If your medical bills after a bike crash are going to be more than your insurance provider is willing to pay, or if you’re worried (rightfully so) that a provider is being dishonest, you need an attorney. We are experienced with helping clients recover from bike accidents. Contact us today and set up a free consultation so that we can help you get the settlement you deserve.

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