How To Handle Your Medical Bills After a Car Accident in Tampa, FL
October 10, 2023 | Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers | Car Accident
Car accidents can be physically and emotionally exhausting. After a car accident in Tampa, Florida, you may also face mounting medical bills. The journey to recovering financially can seem overwhelming without a car accident lawyer.
Since our founding, Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers have helped hundreds of car accident victims recover their medical expenses. This guide offers a roadmap for managing medical bills effectively after a car accident.
1. Seek Treatment and Save Documentation
Prioritize your health after an accident. See a doctor for a medical assessment, regardless of the severity of your injuries. This is important because not all injuries show symptoms immediately. For example, symptoms of whiplash or back injuries may develop over days or weeks. You should immediately address any symptoms to avoid complications.
Remember that post-accident doctor’s appointments, treatments, and prescriptions become important evidence. They document your injuries and out-of-pocket expenses. You should maintain a dedicated file with copies of medical bills and records related to your accident. You will need these documents when you file an insurance claim or initiate litigation.
2. Utilize Florida’s No-Fault Insurance System
Florida’s no-fault insurance system can be unfamiliar to accident victims. Under this system, your insurance should be the first avenue for recovering medical expenses after an accident, regardless of who is at fault.
A vital component of this system is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. In Florida, every driver is required to have minimum PIP coverage of $10,000. You should notify your insurer promptly after an accident to take advantage of PIP and begin the reimbursement process.
However, keep in mind that PIP can only cover 80% of all “reasonable and necessary” medical expenses. If your losses exceed your policy limits or if you sustain a “serious injury” in a car accident, you can pursue a claim against the at-fault driver for additional compensation.
3. Consider MedPay
Beyond PIP, another insurance option may be available to Floridians—Medical Payments coverage, or MedPay. This optional coverage, if added to your policy, can be beneficial. MedPay covers medical expenses for you and any passengers in your vehicle.
Like PIP, access to MedPay is not determined by who’s responsible for your accident. However, note that MedPay is supplemental to your health insurance. This means who pays medical bills first depends on your health insurance policy.
4. Beware of Quick Settlements
While navigating your insurance claim, be wary of quick settlement offers. Insurance companies may present what appears to be a generous offer soon after your accident. These offers may be enticing when faced with mounting bills, but they also may not adequately cover your present and future medical bills.
Before accepting a settlement, ensure you thoroughly evaluate all current and future medical costs. You should consult a car accident lawyer in Tampa, Florida, for assistance. Few people accurately calculate all their damages after an accident on their own. A lawyer will help you determine how much to expect from a car accident settlement.
5. Medical Liens and Bill Negotiation
It is not uncommon to have outstanding medical bills after an accident. In some cases, negotiating with healthcare providers can help reduce them. In Tampa, providers often understand the financial strain of car accidents. Some may be willing to reduce their bill, offer a payment plan, or delay billing.
Some other providers may agree to a lien if your accident settles or goes to trial. This is because certain providers can assert liens on personal injury settlements under Florida law. A lien means a provider will be paid for treatment directly from any settlement or trial proceeds.
Consult a Car Accident Lawyer in Tampa, FL
Handling medical bills after a car accident can be stressful. This is where an experienced car accident lawyer, particularly one based in Tampa, Florida. A lawyer can help you understand the legal process and maximize your compensation.
While your health and car insurance policies should provide some relief for your medical bills, you may have other options – especially if the accident was not your fault.
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers has over 119 years of combined experience helping victims in this process. Schedule a free initial consultation today.
Contact a Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer from Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today
For more information, please contact Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Tampa today. We have five convenient locations in Florida, including Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, New Port Richey, and Lakeland.
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
601 W Swann Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
600 Bypass Dr Suite 224-D, Clearwater, FL 33764
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg Office
111 2nd Ave NE Suite 350, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
5006 Trouble Creek Rd Unit #200, Port Richey, FL 34652
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Lakeland Office
1543 Lakeland Hills Blvd Suite 18, Lakeland, FL 33805