The medical bills you face in the aftermath of a car accident injury can add even more stress to an already difficult situation. You require medical care to get better, but in some cases, you may not have the money or health coverage to pay for that treatment. If you are left seriously injured from a car wreck, paying for expensive procedures and care such as surgery, rehabilitation, and physical therapy may seem impossible.
Filing a car crash injury claim through an experienced Oklahoma City attorney can help you pay for these costs, as well as other losses such as lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, it is also important to be aware of how your medical care may be covered before your case is settled, as you may owe your health insurance provider after your case is settled.
What is a subrogation claim?
You may be surprised to learn that if you receive a reward or settlement on a personal injury claim having to do with your car accident, you are required under law to pay back any entity that paid for your medical bills in advance of the claim resolution. This is referred to as subrogation. Insurance companies have an equitable contractual right to use this legal and financial instrument.
What does subrogation have to do with my health insurance?
If you have adequate health insurance to pay for your medical bills resulting from an accident, you can count on that coverage to help you receive the care you need. However, it is important to understand that health insurance providers are eligible for a subrogation claim against monetary damages awarded in a car accident injury case.
This claim gives the insurance company protection, enabling it to recover any dollar amount it has paid out for medical bills connected with your accident claim. In other words, the health insurance company eventually gets its money back with proceeds obtained from the other party’s insurance company.
What is a medical lien in Oklahoma?
Medical companies often agree to accept the medical lien in order to continue providing treatment without receiving immediate compensation for their services. They understand that as the injured party, you will not be compensated until your case is settled.
Medical liens are similar to subrogation claims. These liens help the medical provider receive payment from settlement proceeds before you receive any money from the case yourself.
What if I fail to pay my medical lien?
The consequences are significant if you fail to pay a medical lien when you obtain your settlement. As a legal claim, a medical lien requires you to pay the medical provider after you have received compensation in your case. Medical providers have the option to take legal action in order to collect unpaid liens.
If the insurance coverage provided by the other party fails to cover all of your damages, you may need to have a car accident injury attorney negotiate a lower payoff amount to satisfy a particular medical lien.
Maneuvering through the waters of subrogation and medical liens, as well as insurance settlements and negotiations can be quite challenging. However, a trusted attorney with extensive experience handling these matters can help you secure the financial outcome you need in your case.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a car wreck due to the negligence of another driver, or if you need help negotiating with an insurance company regarding a subrogation or medical lien, we can help. The Oklahoma City car crash attorneys at Cunningham & Mears work vigorously to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Please call our Oklahoma City office at (405) 232-1212 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation today.
Ryan Y. Cunningham is a founding partner of Cunningham & Mears. Mr. Cunningham devotes his practice to protecting the rights of injured Oklahoma residents. In addition to assisting injured clients, Mr. Cunningham endeavors to improve personal injury representation by speaking on issues related to personal injury law to attorneys in continuing legal education courses and to law students. Learn More