July 15, 2020
Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in an accident, you might be waiting for a settlement to be reached. You probably plan to pay your medical bills with that settlement money, but is there anything you can do in the meantime? If you don’t pay those medical bills, will that impact your credit score? Unfortunately, yes.
What Happens to Unpaid Medical Bills?
Just like any other type of bill, medical bills could eventually end up in collections if they don’t get paid. Your medical provider might send you a 30-day notice, 60-day notice, and even a 90-day or 180-day notice first, but if those all go ignored, your next notice could be a call from a collections agency. When that happens, it makes a dent on your credit score. There are some changes to credit reporting practices that are meant to protect your credit, but not every medical bill will fall within the requirements.
How Can One Stop This from Happening?
If you’re worried about the negative impact your unpaid medical bills could have on your credit score as you wait for a personal injury settlement, you do have some options. The following are some ways you can prevent that from happening.
- Using personal health insurance – Even if the accident you were involved in wasn’t your fault, you may be able to use your personal health insurance to cover the costs. Chances are, your insurer will place a lien on the settlement, which means the company will be paid back with your settlement before you receive any of the cash yourself.
- Using personal injury protection – PIP is a type of coverage meant to pay medical expenses that resulted from an accident, no matter who was at fault. PIP usually tops off at a certain amount, so as soon as those first medical bills have been paid, you won’t have any more PIP to cover the rest.
- Working with your healthcare provider – Some healthcare providers will work with you on a payment plan or a reduced rate. This is often for services paid in cash at the time of service, but every provider has different benefits they offer, so it’s worth looking into.
- Signing an authorization and assignment – If you have no other way to pay for medical care, you can sign an authorization and assignment document that basically promises the expenses will be paid from your settlement before anything else gets paid from it.
Allowing an Attorney to Intervene
Not every situation is straightforward and easy to handle. If you’re dealing with a future settlement from a personal injury lawsuit, and you’re trying to get your medical bills paid in the meantime, contact a lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer from Hickey & Turim, to intervene in your case.