Inteview with Orlando injury attorney Charles Franklin
Many injuries victims that arrive at local hospitals are the result of auto accidents. Ever wonder how those large hospital bills are paid for? Who pays for that $30,000 medical bill for a broken leg? Car accident attorney Charles Franklin paid us a visit to clear up some of the details.
John: How are hospital bills usually paid for after a car accident?
Attorney Franklin: It depends on the severity of the injury and if you carry PIP insurance. If you live in Florida, Personal Injury Protection insurance is required by all drivers. It is used to cover medical expenses and lost wages up to 10K no matter who was at fault for the accident. This is perfect for minor injuries and saves the time of going through litigation. One problem is medical expenses in the US are outrageous. I have seen MRIs go for $2500 to $5000. It’s absurd.
When the PIP is exhausted, the victim of the accident will (hopefully) contact an auto accident attorney. It is the attorney’s job to gather evidence and send a demand package to the at fault driver’s insurance company. The goal is to get the at fault driver’s insurance company to pay for the remaining medical bills.
John: Does car insurance take care of the bills only if you were driving a car? For example you would not be able to use car insurance if you fell and broke your wrist.
Attorney Franklin: Not exactly. You could have been a passenger in a friends car who got into an accident after driving recklessly. You health insurance should cover medical expenses if you broke your wrist by tripping. Now if you broke your wrist while trying to avoid being struck by a vehicle, that’s another story.
John: Do you still use your own health insurance?
Attorney Franklin:That is tricky. Car insurance is responsible for medical payments up until it runs out. After that your own health insurance should pick up where the car insurance left off.
John: What if you don’t have health insurance?
Attorney Franklin: If this is the case it is very important to contact an attorney. Hopefully the at fault driver was carrying decent bodily injury protection at the time of the accident. The other thing we can do is negotiate medical bills on behalf of our clients. Not all medical bills are set in stone, if fact many of them are over inflated to compensate of other people who do not pay. There have been many times where we were able to slash out client’s medical bills by half. For example say a client has $50,000 in medical bills but both the client and the at fault driver had minimal insurance. (Minimal insurance in FL is $10K) The most the client would be able to obtain would be $20k, most of the time in this situation the hospital will take what it can get.
This is not something that people normally think about. Most assume some sort of insurance will pay for medical bills when they arrive. It is good to be one step ahead of the game. Your car insurance can be just as important as your health insurance. You never know when you are going to need them.