Even if you have medical or other forms of insurance, you could still be left with thousands of dollars in treatment costs after an accident. Typically, you have to pay these costs whether or not you are compensated by another party. Let’s take a look at how medical debts are handled after you lose a personal injury case.
Q: Will the Health Care Providers Wait for Payment?
A: Immediately after an accident, the first thing that you should do is seek treatment. Your doctor or anyone else who sees you will usually agree to hold off on collecting payment for services rendered until after your case has been resolved. However, if you ask to delay payment, you may be required to sign an agreement acknowledging the debt and that it must be paid regardless of if the case is resolved in your favor.
Q: What Happens After a Jury Verdict Goes Against You?
A: After the initial verdict has been reached and read to the judge, your attorney may request a new trial. It may also be possible to reach a settlement that helps to pay for some or all of your medical bills. However, this is unlikely if a jury finds in favor of the defendant.
If a new trial is granted, it may be possible to point out errors in the evidence presented or errors in any rulings made by the judge that could have led to the previous outcome. In the event that a new trial is not granted, your attorney may appeal the decision.
Q: How Will You Pay Your Medical Bills After Losing the Case?
A: There are many options that injured individuals have when it comes to paying their doctors after an accident. After losing a case, it may still be possible to file an auto insurance claim to help pay for damages up to the limits of the policy if the accident took place in a vehicle. It may also be possible to file a claim with your health insurance provider to pay costs up to the limits of the policy.
If you don’t have insurance, it may be necessary to pay either with cash or with a credit card. Typically, a doctor or other medical provider will allow for a payment plan if you don’t have the money to pay your debts immediately. It is also a good idea to look into any sort of discount or other deals that may be available if you do agree to pay any balance owed with one payment.
Q: Is Bankruptcy an Option?
A: If you really can’t afford to pay your doctors after an accident, you may want to consider filing for bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 filing allows you to liquidate assets to pay creditors and discharge your remaining balance. Depending on what types of assets you have, this may enable you to legally walk away from your debt and get a clean financial start.
For those who don’t qualify for Chapter 7, Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to reorganize your debt and pay it off over three or five years. This may allow you to pay your doctors while also being able to support yourself until you recover. After the bankruptcy period is over, your medical debts may be discharged if there is a remaining balance.
Unfortunately, you may have to pay your doctors for services rendered after an accident even if you lose your case. The silver lining is that you may not owe any attorney fees or any fees to the defendant if a jury rules against you. Although a favorable outcome cannot be guaranteed in every case, it is still worthwhile to consult with an attorney after you have been hurt to see if you a good enough legal basis to sue.
The lawyers on the Lamber Goodnow personal injury law firm and those at our partner firms in Chicago are highly qualified in these type of metters. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers never charge a fee, unless we win your case. Get a risk free consultation today.