How Can I See a Doctor and Pay My Bills After A Car Accident?

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August 28  

Here's What You Need To Know

In this article, I want to talk about if you’re in a car accident, how can you make sure that you get to see a doctor and make sure your doctor bills get paid, and what can you do for money during the case. Since this is a common question that I get a lot from people who are in a car accident, especially people who had an old worker’s comp case.

Difference Of Car Accident And Workers Comp Case

It is different from a car accident and workers comp cases. Because if everything goes according to plan, if you’re off-work with a doctor’s note, then under worker’s comp case, the doctors automatically get paid. Supposed to as they give you care and you get two-thirds of salary while you’re off-work with a doctor’s note, but that’s in a worker’s comp case.

What happens in a car-crash case? Well, I had a guy just like that who called me and asked for a free consultation, I was happy to talk to him answered all his question and he ended up being a client. Becoming a client, he has a pretty good case but when he called me, he had a worker’s comp case before a work injury case. So, his expectation was if he’s off-work, he would be getting paid during time he’s off work. The medical would all be automatic and in a car crash case, it’s different. In car crash or any kind of motor vehicle accident case, all the money that comes at the end of the case.

Whereas, in a worker’s comp, you get paid TTD while you’re off-work and the doctors get paid as they give you medical care. In a car crash or an automobile accident case, all the money, the medical bills, your lost wages, and everything gets paid at the end of the case in a lump sum of money. When we settle the case either settle it or get a verdict on it, so it's different and it creates a problem. That's where the questions come from, if the insurance company doesn't pay the doctors as I go along, why would the doctors agree to see me and what am I supposed to do for money while I’m off work? Well, the good news is there are some answers to those questions, the first one is with respect to the medical bills and there's a lot of doctors out there who will treat on a lien basis.

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Lien Basis

A lien is a legal word, and it just means to get something out of the case. So, if somebody files a lien on your case, that means when the case resolves, they want their bills paid, since doctors have a statutory law that lets them put liens on injury cases, lots of doctors, not all but there are a lot of them out there and they're not hard to find. You can find them easily, they'll treat you on what's called a lien basis, meaning if they know the lawyer that's handling your case, they've treated that lawyer's clients before and they know the lawyer, knows what he or she is doing. Then the doctors have a pretty good feeling that if a quality lawyer is representing the injured person, then it's probably a good case and they're probably going to win.

That means eventually the doctor bills are going to get paid, so if you don't have medical insurance, you don't know anybody or very few people who have enough money to pay for all the medical care, they need out of their pocket. That means you need to get somebody to pay it and a lot of doctors will work on a lien basis.

Find A Doctor

So, if you've been hurt in an accident and you don't have money to pay, you just need to find a doctor who will work on a lien. That may be as simple as a google search because there's a lot of doctors out there who do it, they understand how the system works. And if you're represented by a good attorney, they're happy to give you the medical care that you need because they know that they're going to get paid at the end of the case. So, here's the harder question, the harder question is what do you do for money? In other words, rent, buying food, in an injury case, that is a much harder question, it certainly helps if you can tighten your belt because the simple the answer is there's no provision in personal injury law for you to get paid. Your salary while you're off work in a car crash case or a fall down case, in fact the only type of injury case where there's a provision for, that is workers comp.

Tighten Your Belt 

My first bit of advice would be to tighten your belt and focus on getting better and focus on getting back to work as soon as you can. The other thing is it’s important to get a lawyer who’s going to move your case forward quickly, like you don’t want a lawyer who’s just going to sit on your case and not do anything and hope that it settles one day. You want an attorney who knows what he or she is doing and pushes the case forward so you can get to that settlement money at the end of the case.

But there are some possibilities for you like you can if you're married, you can tighten your belt and rely on your spouse's income temporarily until you can get back to work. You can do things like try to borrow money from family just to make ends meet until you're able to return to work. The reason I say is I hate borrowing money from anybody and why should I have to borrow money from somebody, especially a family member when somebody else ran into my car or rear-ended me on the expressway or t-boned me when I was crossing an intersection on a green light? Why should I rely on family and friends to help me when the other guy hurt me?

Borrow From Your Family Instead Of Lawsuit Loan

Well, the answer is there's no provision for you to get paid during the time you're off work but the last option and I really consider it an option of last resort is a lawsuit loan. So, a lawsuit loan is you basically sign a contract an agreement with the lawsuit loan company saying they're going to charge you anywhere between you know $200 to $500 for your application and then you're agreeing to pay might be 35-45% yearly interest on the money you borrow.

It's easy to see why I tell people not to take out lawsuit loans or if you need to take a lawsuit loan out to make ends meet, do it but don't take out the minimum amount you can. The goal will be to repay it as fast as possible, so I am sometimes able to call the lawsuit loan company and reduce the amount that they are asking for because they make out like bandits, and they will lend you.

I've had cases where my clients borrowed two or three thousand dollars and a year and a half later, they want five thousand dollars out of the client settlement. So, you can see it really adds up, so I always tell people, don't take out a lawsuit loan and like so many things in life, there's no good answer here for how you make ends meet while you're injured and off work. All you can do is get back to work and rely on savings, rely on borrowing money from somewhere or family or friends, and as a last resort you can borrow and try and get a lawsuit loan, but again the interest rate is so high, and I really don't recommend that.

So, I hope that answers your question and if you or a loved one needs a lawyer, please give me a call, you can reach me 24/7 at 312-500-4500.

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