How Health Insurance Changes a Personal Injury Claim
If you’ve ever been to the emergency room with a broken bone, you might have received a letter from your health insurance company asking if the injury happened at work. Why would they care if you got hurt at work? Because if you broke a bone while working, then the employer’s insurance plan has to pay for the medical expenses — not your health insurance plan.
So when you file a personal injury claim, you frequently unleash a battle between insurance companies as to which one is responsible for the costs. When insurance companies sue each other, its call subrogation. And frequently, as the insured you don’t know that these insurance battles are raging on behind the scenes. In the fine print of every insurance policy (and there is a lot of fine print) you give permission for the companies to sue each other.
However, while the insurance companies will fight with each other over the cost of your x-rays and pain prescriptions, they probably aren’t asking if you’ve lost wages due to the injury. You have to hire your own lawyer so that the lawsuits include all of your costs. With a few weeks out of work or a lifetime of disability, you have to become an advocate for yourself by hiring a lawyer.
And you have to do it before all of the insurance money runs out. Let’s say you were crossing the street and got hit by a car. You broke your foot. Initially, your health insurance covers the costs, but they soon realize the driver’s insurance company should be paying for the medical coverage. The insurance companies fight it out and come to a settlement. Meanwhile, you’re at home with a broken foot, unable to work. After a few months, you realize that you could still get some money for your lost wages. And with a lawyer, you can. It might take some time, but you can get money because you couldn’t work with a broken foot. However, had you contacted a lawyer right away, you could have come to a settlement before the insurance companies used it up for themselves.
Personal injuries cost more than the price of medical treatments. Don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer and claim your share of the insurance money.