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ILLINOIS 

PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS


PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY SERVING COOK COUNTY & THE ENTIRE STATE OF ILLINOIS

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How To Get "Medical Bills" Paid After a Chicago Car Accident

According to Illinois law, the person who caused the accident or injury will be responsible for the injured victim's medical bills. The person or company responsible for the accident can pay the medical bills directly, or their insurer will be responsible. 


Unfortunately, the liable parties will not always offer to pay up right away.


In some cases, the insurance company will delay in order to make a low-ball out-of-court settlement look good. Or they will delay to force the other party to file a lawsuit. 


To get the insurance company to pay "medical bills" after an Illinois accident or injury, the injured victim will often need to look to:

  • Private health insurance; 
  • Government health insurance, such as Medicare or Medicaid; 
  • Illinois worker's compensation, or
  • Healthcare providers who are willing to work on a "medical lien" basis.

To help you better understand ​how to get your medical bills paid after a Chicago accident or injury, Our Illinois Personal Injury Lawyers discuss the following, below: 


1. Who pays my medical bills after a Chicago accident or injury


2. What if I am injured in Illinois and I don't have health insurance?


3. Should I use my personal health insurance or give a Doctor's Lein?


4. Who pays if I have more than one insurance policy?


5. Do I have to pay my health insurance back if I win my case?


6. The process of submitting medical bills in a Illinois injury case


7. What if I had a pre-existing injury?


8. What if the insurance company's settlement is not enough to cover my medical bills?

 1. Who pays my medical bills after a Chicago accident or injury

When a party breaches their duty of care in Illinois, they can be held legally liable for the injured victim's medical bills and other damages. Unfortunately, liable parties rarely admit fault and pay the bills right away. 


Luckily you have many options to get your medical bills paid while you are waiting for your case to go to trial or settle. 


Those options include 1) private health insurance 2) or government insurance such as Medicare or Medicaid. 


There may also be optional person insurance such as Illinois homeowner's or rental policy or worker's compensation. 

2. What if I am injured in Illinois and I don't have health insurance?

Illinois law requires hospitals to negotiate discounts and reasonable payment plan with their patients:

  • Who don't have insurance, or 
  • Whose household income is at a percentage of the federal poverty level. 

Some doctors are willing to work for a medical lien in Illinois. 


If the doctor or any other healthcare provider works on a medical lien basis, the medical provider will delay their payment due date until after you resolve your case. 


Our Illinois personal injury lawyers will refer you to one of our network doctors, chiropractors, or therapists who are willing to work on a lien. 


Our personal injury lawyers of Illinois will also negotiate with doctors, therapists, and hospitals to reduce your bills and come up with a manageable payment plan.  

3. Should I use my personal health insurance or give a Doctor's Lein?

It is always better to use health insurance rather than getting a medical provider on a lien basis after an accident or injury in Illinois. 


Doctors, hospitals, and any medical provider that agrees to get paid from a medical lien are repaid from the proceeds from any lawsuit or out-of-court settlement. 


Other advantages of private insurance include:

  • After 2014, the Affordable Care Act prohibits insurance companies from placing lifetime limits on insurance payouts or yearly caps on payouts. 
  • Injury victims will also have more medical providers to choose from if they use their insurance. 

For the above mentioned reasons, we recommend using insurance instead of paying a doctor on a lien unless: 

  • You do not have either private health insurance or government health insurance;
  • You prefer a service or provider not covered under your insurance; or
  • Your deductible or co pays are high and you cannot afford them.

4. Who pays if I have more than one insurance policy?

If you acquired good insurance coverage, you probably have more than one policy that might cover your medical expenses after an injury or accident in Illinois.


In some situations, you may want to submit your claim to one insurance carrier rather than the another.


For example, you may need an orthopedist and a chiropractor and your insurance does not cover chiropractors. In such cases, you may need you orthopedic bills to go to your insurance, while saving your other insurance for chiropractic bills. 


Our personal injury lawyers of Illinois will help you decide whether it makes sense to pick and choose. 


 In most cases, you will want to submit your bills to ALL the insurance companies that may reimburse you. 

5. Do I have to pay my health insurance back if I win my case?

Government and private health insurance companies usually have what is called subrogation rights. This means that they have the right to be reimbursed from compensation recovered from any lawsuit or out-of-court settlements. 


That right only applies if you actually receive compensation from the wrongful party.


Your insurer also has a right to "step in your shoe" and sue the at-fault party on your behalf.


Unfortunately, your insurer's goals are much different than yours. This is why you will need to hire your own attorney to protect your interests, not just those of your insurer.

6. The process of submitting medical bills in a Illinois injury case

The opposing party's insurance company will need copies of your bills. Your doctor or medical provider also will need to submit a diagnosis as in addition to a copy of test results such as x-rays or MRIs.


Your medical providers should keep notes that connect the treatment you receive to the accident or injury.


Further, the at-fault insurer will likely request relevant medical records going back at least five years.


For example, if you are claiming that you injured your neck in Illinois, you probably will be required to supply five years worth of records from primary care doctors, chiropractors, orthopedic doctors, and any other providers that treated you for similar injuries.


Other submissions which will help expedite the process of getting payment for medical bills includes (but is not limited to):

  • Information on all parties and witnesses to the accident;
  • Your insurance company’s report(s) and any police accident report;

  • Photos and/or videos of the accident scene, vehicles, defective product, etc. and

  • Anything else that might be helpful, including statements of witnesses, co-workers, friends, or family members talking about how the accident has affected you.

7. What if I had a pre-existing injury?

Pre-existing injuries can make it hard (though not impossible) to receive compensation for an accident or injury.


If your pre-existing injury was made worse by the accident, you are still entitled to recover.


Example: Mike is a warehouse worker and 2 years ago he suffered from back pain due to moving heavy objects at the warehouse. He goes to the chiropractor whenever the pain becomes bad for treatment. 


While coming home from work one day, Mike is rear-ended by a drunk driver, his back goes out again and he is forced to miss 6 weeks of work. Even though Mike's already had a bad back, because the accident made it worse, the other driver (or his insurance) is responsible for Mike's medical bills as well as his lost wages from missed work.

8. What if the insurance company's settlement is not enough to cover my medical bills?

The other driver's insurance may immediately offer you a small settlement, and you may be tempted to accepting the settlement based on the theory that something is better than nothing. 


An experienced and skilled Illinois personal injury attorney can help you evaluate the strength of your case and assess your bargaining position. Our expert personal injury negotiators can help you recover the compensation you deserve. 


 A good attorney can often negotiate a larger settlement and/or convince your medical providers to reduce their bills.

What is most important is not only the total amount of your financial settlement but how much of it ends up in your pocket.


Our goal is to get you the most compensation possible and let you keep as much as possible so that your bills are covered and you are compensated for your pain and suffering.

Need help with medical bills after an accident? Call us…

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If you were hurt in a car accident, pedestrian accident, slip and fall accident, a dog bite, or any other way, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation. 


Call us to speak to a lawyer about your case.

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