Personal injury and wrongful death attorney Darl Champion discusses health insurance's role in paying for medical bills in a personal injury case. In some cases, health insurance must be reimbursed, but that isn't always the case.
A common question we get from people who have been injured in a Georgia car accident is whether they should submit their medical bills to health insurance. The answer to this question is almost always yes. Submitting your medical bills to health insurance will reduce your out of pocket expenses, but it does not reduce the amount of medical bills that the at-fault driver is responsible for. Under Georgia law, somebody who negligently injures you is responsible for paying the full amount of your medical bills, regardless of whether they have been paid in whole or in part by your health insurance. Depending on the type of health plan you have, you may be responsible for reimbursing your health plan for what it has paid once you receive a settlement. However, even if you have a health plan that must be paid back, you will still come out better as the amount your health insurance pays will almost always be less than the full amount of the bills.
You should also check to see if you have medical payments coverage (“med pay”) under your own car insurance policy or the policy for the vehicle you are in. Med pay is basically health insurance for you if you are in a car accident and can be used to pay your medical bills regardless of who is at fault. Similar to health insurance, using med pay does not reduce the amount of medical bills that the negligent driver is responsible for paying. Sometimes med pay can be used to pay your co-pays and deductibles after your health insurance has paid its portion. Whether med pay should be used in lieu of, or in combination with, health insurance requires an analysis of the specific facts in your case.
Our Atlanta car accident attorneys have extensive experience representing individuals who have been injured in a variety of motor vehicle accidents. If you have questions about your case, you can call us for a free consultation at 404-596-8044.