The short answer is yes, depending on who is at fault. If you have Medpay coverage, then it will not matter if you’re at fault or not. This coverage will apply regardless. If you’re at fault in the accident but don’t have health insurance, then any costs would likely have to come out of your pocket. If you’re not at fault and don’t have health insurance, then it’s possible for you to receive medical care through a lien.
What is a lien?
A lien is something that will make sure a persona, group, or business is paid for services they advance before payment. The injured person will sign a “lien” (contract) that upon the settlement of the case, they agree to pay for the services rendered. Typically, if the person is represented by a car accident attorney, the attorney will pay the healthcare providers directly from the settlement amount.
Who can get a lien?
Many providers will grant a medical lien in California when a patient who has been in an accident:
- Doesn’t have insurance, Medicare, Medi-Cal, a Medpayauto policy or other “no fault” insurance,
- Can’t afford the deductible and/or co-pays under their insurance policy, or
- Can’t afford medical coverage while waiting for the responsible party to pay up
Because accident injury claims aren’t always successful, not all medical providers will be willing to provide services on a “lien basis.” The best San Diego accident lawyers will be able to assist you in the search for medical providers on a lien if you need that option.
In most cases, liens are only used when a personal injury victim has no other alternatives. One advantage of overusing one’s own health insurance is that in-network providers cannot charge more than they’ve agreed to under contract with the insurance company. However, it can also be difficult and time-consuming to get insurance companies to approve certain procedures despite being necessary after an accident. These situations must be weighed on an individual basis.
Who pays for the lien if I lose my accident case?
Unfortunately, even where there are cases with extensive injuries involved, there are factors like policy insurance limits that will come into play.
If there isn’t enough to pay the liens from the lowered settlement case or a case is lost, the patient will still owe for the reasonable value of services rendered. Experienced San Diego car accident lawyers are usually able to work with providers to negotiate these down on the patient’s behalf.
Most providers understand that this is a risk of doing business and try to be reasonable given the circumstances.
Do I need to see a doctor right away after a car accident?
Car accidents happen in the blink of an eye. No one prepares themselves for one of the medical bills that come with it. Medical treatment costs can quickly go up. And coupled with missed time from work, many people can find themselves in a difficult financial position.
Despite this, we still can’t stress enough how important it is to seek immediate medical care following an accident. This is true even if you feel like you aren’t injured.
There are two main reasons: 1) you only get your health once, and 2) you need to prove your injuries are related to this accident. Insurance companies are already plenty of steps ahead of you. They use tricks like delay, recorded statements, and use your financial situation against you to accept less or deny your claim. All of their adjusters are trained in these tactics. Also, if there is no proof of injury through treatment by a doctor, you won’t be able to collect pain and suffering damages.
If you have any questions about whether you might be eligible to receive medical treatment after a car accident, we are happy to review and evaluate your options with you free of charge.
My name is Daniel Hanecak and I am a San Diego Car Accident Lawyer. I know from personal experience how stressful and time consuming a car accident can be. When you call Hanecak Law Inc., you will speak with me directly. It is my aim to provide you with free and friendly advice. Call me today at 858-206-4DAN for a free case evaluation.