Health Insurance Reimbursement Following a Car Accident Injury Settlement
When you get into a car accident, often the issues of liability are not immediately resolved and payments from the responsible party's insurance company don't start right away. Since you can't wait for insurance payments to start getting required medical care, your health insurance company will generally pay for the care you require as a result of your car accident injury when you require it.
If you paid for your own medical care out-of-pocket, then you would be reimbursed at a later date when the settlement is finalized since medical bills are part of damages awarded in car accident settlements or when a car accident case goes to court. When someone else pays, it is only fair that they too are paid back for what they spent. In most cases, your health insurance company will be reimbursed from a car accident settlement. The rationale behind this is that, since the heath insurer paid for your medical treatment, it is entitled to get the money back from the settlement (just as you are entitled to reimbursement for your expenses, like lost wages.)
It is important to note, however, that depending on the laws in your state and the terms of your agreement, the health insurance company may get a reduced reimbursement due to attorney's fees. For example, if your lawyer charged 33% of the settlement, and the health insurance company is entitled to $1,000 in reimbursements, it may receive $666 instead. The rationale in those cases is that the health insurance company must pay its fair share of the attorney's contingency fee.
The details regarding contingency fees, your insurance company's coverage policies, and anything else you may need to know about such rules or regulations should be contained within your insurance contract. Speaking to an agent will also be essential so that you know exactly how things stand and when payment will be made. You should also remember that even if your insurance company is liable for your medical treatment, if they are waiting on a settlement and don't pay, the medical facility can end up billing you instead. This can cause complications on your credit so it is best to know what to expect before the process begins, if possible. Read your insurance paperwork carefully and call them with any questions or concerns.
You may also wish to contact an attorney to find out exactly how the car accident settlement process and health insurance reimbursement will work based on your situation. Some states have specific laws related to health insurance companies and car accident settlements, your attorney will be able to provide you with information specific to your case.