When a negligent driver causes you to sustain serious injuries in a car accident, one of your first concerns may be who will pay for your medical expenses as you recover. Because Arizona is an at-fault state when it comes to auto accidents, the answer to this question can sometimes be complex. We’ll break it down for you here.
Understanding Car Accident Claims in States without No-Fault Insurance
Arizona is one of 38 states that operates on a fault basis for auto insurance claims. This means insurance companies will not pay for your medical expenses until there is a determination that their insured was at fault for your injuries. This leaves injured individuals to figure out how to cover their immediate medical expenses that someone else is responsible for until they can get payment from the at-fault person’s insurance. Part of our initial consultation with our clients is to help them decide the best way to cover medical expenses until we can demand the insurance company cover your full medical expenses. While we explore with our clients the best options for covering medical expenses until the insurance company payout, two major avenues we discuss with our clients are Health Insurance and Medical Liens.
In many circumstances, our client’s health insurance is an option for getting medical expenses covered for their injuries until payment is made through the at-fault driver’s insurance. When our clients use their health insurance they can attend medical visits just like a normal check-up. They present their health insurance card to their medical provider who will bill their health insurance. In Arizona, health insurance companies that pay out for medical expenses for injuries that are the fault of another person are not entitled to reimbursement. However, there are some exceptions to this rule with certain health insurance providers including AHCCCS and Medicare. These exceptions can require our client to reimburse their health insurance with funds they receive from the at-fault driver’s insurance. That is why consulting an attorney is important so that you can ensure that health insurance is the best way to cover your medical expenses.
There are times when our clients do not have health insurance or when our client’s costs with health insurance, for deductibles or copays, are too expensive to use. In those cases treating on a medical lien may be an option. A medical lien is when a medical provider provides treatment and waits to get payment until your claim is settled with the at-fault driver’s insurance. Arizona law allows for providers to put a lien against your claim you can make against the at-fault driver’s insurance. This lien ensures that a medical provider will get paid for the treatment they provided once you are paid for your injury claim from the at-fault driver’s insurance. It is important to understand that if you are treating on a lien you will be required to pay your provider from your payment received by the at-fault driver’s insurance. This makes it important to have an attorney that will make sure to take care of all medical liens once they get the best settlement for your injury claim.
Understanding the Right Choice for You
While your treatment is not directly paid for by the at-fault driver’s insurance, if you hire the right attorney they should ensure that your full medical bills are paid by the at-fault driver’s insurance. At East Valley Injury Law our attorneys will do just that. We will also consult with you to ensure that you get the treatment you need without concern about how it will be covered until the at-fault driver’s insurance is forced to pay out what is owed to you. It is important to us that our clients get their needed medical treatment to recover from their injuries without the stress of looming medical bills.