WTVM Legal Break – After An Injury
Injury & Accident Attorney Serving Nearby Areas of Columbus & Fort Benning, Georgia and Phenix City, Alabama
Gary Bruce discusses the steps to take after being injured and how to approach paying your medical bills for injuries which occur as the result of someone else’s negligence. Whether or not you go to the emergency room is a personal choice, but it is always encouraged by medical professionals. Also, insurance companies tend to argue that if you do not go to the emergency room, you were not injured badly. Obviously, that is not always the case.
A common question that comes up is whether an injured party should use their own health insurance while seeking medical care. Your health insurance rates will not go up because you use your own health insurance. Most time, you will actually be reimbursed, at some level, if you recover from a third party for your treatment. If you have been injured and have questions about how to proceed with medical care, using health insurance or just need help sorting out what options are available, please call our office for a free consultation about your case and your options. Every case is different so make sure you have exhausted your remedies before you agree to anything.
Maureen: Hello there and welcome to Legal Break. I’m Maureen Akers and with me today, as always, Gary Bruce. Thank you so much for joining us again Gary.
Gary: Good to be here again.
Maureen: We love the questions that we get and the conversations that we have, and today we’re talking about someone should do if they get into an accident. Should they go to the emergency room and get checked out?
Gary: Well, this is the ask the lawyer, not the doctor, type of question, but I think we can all agree that it’s the right thing to do. Who am I to say not to go, but of course, it is a personal choice. If you’re talking the law side of it, insurance companies often think you may not have been injured if you don’t go, but if you need to go, you need to go. It’s all part of making sure you get treated and can get well again.
Maureen: If that happens and you do go to the emergency room, should you use your health insurance when you go? How does all that work?
Gary: Yes, you need to because the hospital or doctor’s office doesn’t wait for someone else to pay – they want to be paid the way they are traditionally paid. What we see people run into is a lot of offices say is, “Well if you’re in a car accident and your insurance won’t pay, we won’t treat you.” They come up with all kinds of excuses, but that’s not true. Part of what we do is deal with subrogation and reimbursement issues at the end of every case. So, if you have Blue Cross or another insurance company that pays your Medicare, we have to deal with those entities and pay them back. What happens sometimes is people are offered something and are told to “deal with this,” but it doesn’t take into account their obligations to reimburse their health care providers. Long answer short, yes, you should use your health insurance.
Maureen: Wouldn’t doing that make your health insurance go up, even if you got a claim and it’s reimbursed?
Gary: Health insurance doesn’t work that way. People worry about their auto insurance going up, but health insurance is not allowed to go up. The law basically says that health care providers cannot penalize you for using it. They want you to use it, and in theory, they need people to use it or else they cannot justify a premium.
Maureen: Very good. Well, thank you so much for joining us today Gary, and we look forward to seeing you on the very next Legal Break!