If you are injured in an accident, it is critically important that you seek appropriate medical care as soon as you can. If you don’t, perhaps because you can’t afford it or don’t think you are seriously injured, you can expect the insurance company to argue that you really weren’t injured at all. One of the things that insurance companies love to do is deny your claim on the basis that you did not get treatment fast enough. However, this creates a real problem for individuals who do not have health insurance. If you get rear-ended in a severe car accident, or even a moderate accident where airbags did not go off, what do you do when you need to make sure you are okay, but do not have health insurance?
Under Federal law, Emergency Rooms must treat a patient irrespective of their health insurance status and without regard to their ability to pay. Emergency Room care is not free, however, and if you cannot pay at the time of service, the hospital will bill you for the ER visit. The Emergency Room is only required to stabilize your condition; it is not required to provide you continuing care.
Your automobile liability policy may have “medical payments coverage” that will provide some benefit for hospital visits, and charges for services by doctors, EMTs, ambulance service, and other medical providers.
Depending upon your income, you may qualify for public medical benefits such as Medi-Cal/Medicaid. You can usually apply for these state programs at the hospital where you are initially treated.
Some doctors may be willing to defer payments until you have resolved your case with the other party in exchange for your agreement to pay at that time, which is called a lien.
Treatment on a Lien Basis
If a doctor or other medical provider agrees to treat you on a lien basis, you will make a legal agreement to pay for his services out of your share of any settlement or judgment you may be awarded, after attorneys fees and costs have been deducted. Chiropractors, physical therapists, and other medical professionals, including specialists, may also be willing to provide services on a lien basis, depending upon the circumstances of your case.
Medical providers may offer a wide variety of services on a lien basis, including office visits, physical therapy, x-rays and other diagnostic tests, and even surgery when necessary.
A lien works by having the physician or hospital take an interest in the settlement proceeds for your case. For example, if you go to the emergency room, and the bill is $2000, the hospital will take a $2000 lien in the proceeds from the lawsuit or claim that you make for the personal injury matter. That does not necessarily mean that the entire amount has to be paid to the hospital. For example, if you have $30,000 of total medical bills and there is only $15,000 of insurance available by the at fault driver’s insurance company, then usually we work with the hospitals and care providers to have them reduce their lien to a total of 1/3 of the overall settlement.
If you need medical care for an accident, especially a personal injury accident, or auto accident, and you not have health insurance coverage, one of the best ways to get treatment for medical care provider is by contacting a personal injury attorney. Axis Legal Counsel represents clients in personal injury accidents, including auto accidents, and we frequently work with medical providers to have a lien taken in the case, so that the victim can receive treatment for their care.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
An experienced personal injury attorney will be knowledgeable about the kinds of injuries you may have incurred and will be familiar with reliable physicians and other medical providers who can assist in your recovery. She will also know which providers may be willing to undertake your treatment on a lien basis and be able to assist in making the necessary arrangements and handling the payments when your case has resolved.
AXIS Legal Counsel represents victims of numerous types of personal injury accidents and injuries, including car accidents, auto/vehicle accidents, bicycle accidents, bus accidents, motorcycle accidents, trucks accidents, boating accidents, brain injuries, head injuries, burn injuries, school bus accidents, dog bite injuries, parasailing accidents, premises liability, slip-and-falls, products liability, trip and fall injuries, catastrophic injuries, wrongful death, gym/exercise accidents, and other personal injury accidents. AXIS handles personal injury accidents that have resulted in head injuries, traumatic concussions, fractures, facial fractures, facial trauma, and traumatic brain injuries. Axis’ managing attorney, Rabeh M. A. Soofi is recognized as a “Top Women Lawyer of Southern California” by SuperLawyers Rising Stars, and is a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer who represents victims of accident and injuries in numerous kinds of disputes.
For information on retaining AXIS Legal Counsel to represent you or a loved one with any accident or injury, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (213) 403-0130 for a confidential consultation, or visit our Accidents and Injuries Practice or Individual Rights portal. AXIS is a Los Angeles, California personal injury law firm that provides victims of accidents and injuries with aggressive representation to pursue the maximum extent of their rights.
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