If you have been hurt in a car wreck, you are initially faced with several issues. If the injured driver or passenger is lucky enough to have health insurance, one common question our personal injury law firm receives is whether the injury victim should use their own health insurance or, instead, just let the bad driver's automobile liability insurance company pay for the medical expenses. The answer to this question is easy-the injured party should always use their own health insurance. For one thing, the insurance company for the driver who caused the car accident is just not going to pay for the health care as it goes along and it will only pay for the medical bills in the end when they are forced to (usually only after either the real threat of a lawsuit or the threat of a jury trial). And even then, they often dispute all or some of the medical expenses. These insurance companies just don't pay as the bills are incurred (maybe they should, but they don't).
Protect Your Own Credit
Many people make the mistake of refusing to turn the ambulance bill, the hospital bill and the doctors' bills over to their own health insurance company. When the bad driver's insurance company doesn't pay the outstanding medical expenses, then the bills go into collections and go against the injured person's credit. Sometimes, when the person realizes that their credit is being adversely affected, they then try to turn the bills over to the health insurance company but find out it is too late (there is a time limit to turn in medical bills, sometimes as short as 30 days).
But What About Subrogation?
Most health insurance contracts have a clause (in the fine print) that allows the company to "subrogate" or get paid back if a favorable injury settlement is eventually recovered from the auto insurance company for the person who was negligent and caused the motor vehicle accident. But even knowing that your have to pay them back if your are lucky enough to get an award of compensation, it is still better to turn the bills in to the health insurance company and let them pay the bills. It protects your credit and it allows you to get the medical treatment you need.
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