When you have been injured in an accident, you are not only focused on trying to treat and recover from your injuries but also on pursuing a legal claim against the party or parties responsible for the accident. But you may also end up with another headache when you start receiving hospital and doctor bills for your treatment. You may not have the financial resources to pay these expenses, especially if you cannot work due to your injuries. And personal injury claims can take months or even years to resolve so that you can get financial compensation to pay your medical bills. However, a personal injury lawyer can help you manage your medical expenses that you incur due to an accident.
Medical Treatment is Expensive
Unfortunately, the U.S. has some of the highest healthcare costs in the world, with an overnight hospital stay in the U.S. costing as much as 10 times as it would in other industrialized countries. Being taken to the hospital from the scene of an accident can easily rack up tens of thousands of dollars in charges.
The high cost of healthcare is due to the fact that health insurance companies only cover a portion of a healthcare provider’s charges. Patients are required to cover the balance of the cost through deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance. Hospitals and providers may inflate their charges to obtain more compensation from a health insurer, knowing that they may be unable to bill the patient for the balance of the bill.
Medical treatment can become incredibly expensive if you obtain care from providers outside of your health insurer’s network. When out-of-network providers do not obtain the compensation they expect from insurers, they often bill the patient for exorbitant costs.
Protections from Erroneous or Inflated Medical Bills
Recently, Congress passed the No Surprises Act, a federal law that came into effect at the start of 2022, which is intended to protect accident victims from surprise medical bills by requiring insurers to bill emergency healthcare as in-network without the need to obtain prior authorization. In addition, out-of-network providers who render ancillary services, such as anesthesiologists, at an in-network hospital must also be treated as in-network providers. The No Surprises Act also prohibits out-of-network charges or balance billing to patients without advance notice and express authorization from the patient for out-of-network care.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed executive orders directing the implementation of the No Surprises Act in the commonwealth, with patients who receive surprise medical bills entitled to contact the Pennsylvania Insurance Department for help or to file a complaint.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Being represented by a personal injury lawyer after being hurt in an accident can help you manage medical expenses for your treatment. Personal injury attorneys have extensive experience with medical billing and can explain charges on your invoices. If necessary, an attorney can also demand an itemized invoice from your healthcare provider to identify potential excessive or unwarranted charges or double billing and hopefully reduce your overall healthcare costs following an accident.
Contact a Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Case in Pennsylvania
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at The Law Office of Mark A. Smith represent clients injured in Pittsburgh, Homestead, Erie, Greensburg, and throughout Pennsylvania. Call 412-567-9598 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 707 Grant Street Suite 3250 Pittsburgh, PA 15219.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.