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A question we get asked all the time is why people should turn their medical bills over to their own car and health insurance companies when the accident was the other driver’s fault.
Illinois law provides that the at fault driver is ultimately responsible for paying all forms of compensation to the driver they injure. This includes economic and non-economic damages.  Economic damages include all expenses and damages incurred because of an accident that is wrongfully caused by someone else.  This includes medical bills, reasonable and necessary out of pocket expenses and lost time from work.  We will focus on the medical bills here.
When someone is insured and causes an accident, their car insurance company agrees to pay those amounts that the insured person is legally obligated to pay. So why submit your medical bills to your own insurance if the other person’s insurance is obligated to pay?
Because although they are obligated to pay your medical bills, they are not obligated to pay those amounts as you incur them, only at the end of the case. If you have a lengthy recovery period, and your bills are not paid, you could be turned into collection for your past due bills or your medical providers could refuse to treat you until the bill is paid.
And if you wait too long to have your medical bills turned in to your insurance companies, they may be able to refuse to pay them at all. All insurance companies have time periods written in their policies within which you must submit your bills.  Some are as short as six months; some car insurance companies will pay accident related bills up to three years; it just varies by the policy.  If your bills don’t get paid and they are not submitted within the proper time frame, they become your debts.
One more reason to turn your bills over to your insurance company is that health insurance companies get discounts over the face value of the bill. Sometimes these discounts can be 60% or more of face value.  You get credit for these discounts when you pay your insurance company back out of any settlement or verdict amount.  Additionally, lawyers have laws that can be used to further reduce the amounts your health insurance must be paid back from any proceeds.  So to a very real extent, you can end up saving perhaps thousands of dollars and certainly lots of stress by having your own insurance companies pay your medical bills as they become due.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, or any motor vehicle accident, call us now at 815-965-2000 (or toll free 877-965-2100) for a free consultation. Put our personal experience to work for you.

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