Toledo Personal Injury Attorney

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Toledo, OH 43604

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Bitten by a dog? Act now to preserve your rights!

In addition to experiencing frightening attacks, dog-bite victims often are left with permanent scars. If you’ve been bitten by a dog,  you’re likely entitled to compensation for your current and future medical bills, the pain you experienced, and your mental suffering. Contact Dale Emch at 419-241-1150 immediately to protect your claim.

Dale's Blog

Should I use my health insurance or car insurance to pay my medical bills
Published Wednesday, July 9, 2014 12:00 pm

If you’ve been injured in an accident and you have to go to the hospital or to a doctor, you usually should use your health insurance if you can. I’ll explain why below, but this isn’t as easy as it sounds. Once a hospital or other medical providers find out you’ve been in a car accident, they’ll try to get you to agree to have your bills paid through the medical payments coverage of your auto insurance policy. The person at the intake desk of the hospital or doctor’s office may try to bully you into signing something that allows your auto insurance to be tapped, but state law requires providers to use health insurance if it’s available. The only exception is if you’re insured through Medicare or Medicaid. In that case, the government mandates that other available sources of insurance are tapped first.

 (My book Don't Wreck Your Ohio Car Accident Case - 5 Tips for Handling Your Personal Injury Claim contains information that may be helpful to you if you've been in a car accident. To receive a free copy of my book, call 419-241-1150.)

This stuff gets confusing fast, which is another reason to seek the assistance of a personal injury attorney to resolve your claim. But here’s the quick version: Your health insurance company usually doesn’t pay the full amount billed by the medical provider. Instead, usually by function of contract, your health insurance only pays a certain percentage of each dollar billed. The medical providers know this and don’t like it. Understandably, they’d like to get paid for every dollar billed. And that’s why they’d rather your auto insurance to pick up the tab. Your auto insurance will pay the medical provider the full amount of the bill so the provider makes more money.

You’re probably thinking that you don’t care who pays your bills as long as they get paid. And that would be true outside the context of a personal injury claim. But when it comes time to settle your claim, it can make life difficult if the medical payments portion of your auto policy is used. Here’s why: Whether your health insurance company or your auto insurer pays the bills, they have a right to be reimbursed in full if your injuries were the result of another party’s negligence. So, if your health insurance company paid less to settle your medical bills, that’s less money that comes out of your settlement when the case gets wrapped up. On top of that, an experienced personal injury attorney usually will try to negotiate with your health insurance company to take less than it paid out. The auto insurance companies are far more reluctant to take less than they paid.

Look, these issues are difficult even for attorneys who practice in this area to figure out. The main thing to take away from this section is that you should run all of your bills through your health insurance. If you have to use you auto policy to pay for deductibles and other issues that your health insurance won’t cover, that’s fine, but try to use your health insurance whenever possible.