If you were injured in a car accident, one of your major concerns after receiving initial medical care may be how to pay your mounting bills. These unexpected treatments and expenses caused by the accident probably weren't anything you planned for in your emergency savings fund.
Even if an insurance company or negligent driver is responsible for reimbursing you, you're ultimately liable for paying your doctor bills and other medical expenses, and creditors don't have to wait for a settlement of your claim to be paid.
Fortunately, you have options for funds to pay your medical bills, but they're different depending on whether your accident was in Kansas or Missouri.
Options for Paying Accident-Related Medical Expenses in Kansas
Kansas is a no-fault state, which means victims of car accidents must first turn to their auto insurance company for compensation for medical expenses. Here are your options:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. Under Kansas law, you're required to have a minimum amount of PIP coverage to pay out-of-pocket expenses, such as wage losses and medical bills. When establishing this coverage on your policy, you can choose whatever limits work best. Regardless of who was at fault for the accident, PIP coverage is what the provider will use for injury compensation, and you'll file a claim here first.
- Health insurance company. If you have health insurance coverage through your employer or an individual policy, the health insurance company is the second option for paying your medical bills. Most likely, your health coverage reimbursement won't kick in until it has proof that you've exhausted your PIP policy. It may also require reimbursement if you successfully pursue a claim against the negligent driver.
- Negligent driver. If you meet certain threshold requirements, you may still be able to sue the negligent driver for medical expenses not covered by PIP. You can pursue this claim if your medical bills exceed $2,000 and you suffered certain injuries, such as a compound fracture, permanent scarring, or permanent disability.
How to Pay Medical Bills Following an Auto Accident in Missouri
Like most states in the U.S., Missouri is an at-fault state, which holds the negligent driver who caused your injuries fully responsible for compensation. However, it could take months or longer for you to settle your claim with his or her insurance company. Here are other options for paying your medical bills:
- MedPay. MedPay is optional medical insurance coverage you can add to an automobile insurance policy. It pays for your medical bills—even if you caused the accident—up to the coverage limits. You'll first submit any medical expenses through your MedPay coverage.
- Health insurance. If you have health insurance, it will pay your medical bills, but may first require proof that you used any available MedPay coverage. In addition, your health insurance provider will most likely require reimbursement of the payments they extended from your settlement with the negligent driver’s insurance company.
- Medical lien. Some medical care providers will agree to hold off on collection of their bills until the settlement of your claim. They place a lien on your settlement that requires any proceeds to fully reimburse them before you realize actual compensation.
Did you suffer injuries in a car accident in Missouri or Kansas? Even if you're filing a claim with your auto insurance company, you need the help of an experienced car accident attorney to negotiate your settlement so you receive fair and just compensation. To learn more about your legal options, contact us online or call our office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free case evaluation.