Three Ways a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You Receive Medical Care (and Avoid Out of Pocket Expenses!) After an Accident
Lawyers are not always the most popular people in the room. There is a whole genre of jokes dedicated to that fact (and a few are really funny!). But, there are some circumstances when it really makes sense to consult with a lawyer. If you have recently been injured in an accident, through no fault of your own, this is one of those circumstances.
It’s common knowledge that a personal injury attorney can negotiate on your behalf with insurance companies to get you a better settlement, but they may also be a huge asset while you are pursuing medical treatment. Here are our top three ways a personal injury attorney can help you receive medical care while minimizing out of pocket expenses:
1. If You Don’t Have Health Insurance, You May Be able to Receive Treatment on a Lien
Health insurance is expensive and complicated. Some individuals and families are uninsured for a period of time during the year. If this is the case, it can be difficult (and prohibitively expensive) to receive the medical attention you need after an accident. In fact, even patients with health insurance sometimes have difficulty paying the out-of-pocket expenses associated with necessary care. But, inability to pay should not keep you from pursuing the medical attention you need if you were injured in an accident through no fault of your own.
This is where an experienced personal injury attorney can be a huge help. Some healthcare providers are willing to provide medical services in personal injury matters based on an attorney’s lien letter. This means that your personal injury attorney writes a letter to the healthcare provider, guaranteeing that any medical expenses will be repaid out of the patient’s portion of the personal injury settlement. This allows the patient to receive treatment right away, and the healthcare provider is assured that he or she will be paid once the settlement is finalized. Not all healthcare providers will agree to perform services based on an attorney’s lien letter, but many will, especially if that attorney is well known and respected in the community.
2. A Healthcare Provider Cannot Refuse to Treat You Just Because You Were Injured in an Accident
Sometimes, we have had clients approach us who were having difficulty receiving treatment. This is not necessarily because of an inability to pay or lack of insurance. Sometimes, healthcare providers simply prefer not to treat patients who have been injured as the result of an accident that may be litigated. So, they refuse treatment. However, this is not a valid reason to refuse treatment. If a healthcare provider has a contract with the insurance company that provides your health insurance, that provider has an obligation to treat you (in the majority of circumstances). In our experience, a dedicated personal injury attorney can make a difference in persuading healthcare providers to provide treatment. At Wakefield Law, we are committed to ensuring that our clients receive all necessary medical treatment.
3. If You Do Have Insurance that Wants to be Reimbursed Out of Your Settlement, There May be a Way to Lower the Reimbursement Amount
We have written extensively about this point before (you can check out the article here), but this is an important point. Many health insurers will cover medical treatments in the first instance but, when it learns of a potential personal injury settlement from another insurance company, will demand to be reimbursed out of settlement proceeds. This is relatively common. However, a skilled personal injury attorney can require the health insurance company to prove it is entitled to reimbursement (there are instances when it is not). If reimbursement is permitted, an attorney can negotiate to get these reimbursement amounts reduced. Any reimbursement amounts that are reduced mean more money that can go to the client.
Work with an Experienced, Dedicated Personal Injury Attorney
At Wakefield Law, we have been advocating for our clients in personal injury matters throughout Northern Virginia for 30 years. To learn more about how an attorney may be able to help you, give our office a call at (703) 771-9740.