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How do I Get Medical Treatment for My Injuries in a Car Accident?

One of the first and most important issues for someone injured in a car accident is how they can get treatment for their injuries.  Unfortunately, treatment can be a significant challenge for those without insurance.  So task number 1 is to determine if there is insurance.

There are a number of possible insurance options for injuries suffered in an auto accident.  Like any other injury, the person will be able to seek treatment under private health insurance.

Private Insurance

Private insurance is obviously the best way to go for treatment. Unfortunately, many do not have it or they have insufficient coverage. This then requires other options.

Private health insurance is obviously not available to everyone.   Even if there is private insurance, the deductibles may cause significant financial strain.  In the event that there is no private health insurance, the next place to look will be your own auto insurance.  This may help both with medical care in the absence of insurance and deductibles where there is insurance.

Many auto insurance policies have Medical Payment Coverage (MedPay).  Fairly standard MedPay coverage will be for $5000.  It may be higher or lower depending on the policy.  MedPay coverage is optional as are the policy coverage limits.

In the event that you have MedPay coverage, you will be able to seek medical attention under the coverage with the insurer paying the medical provider directly.  It will be important to notify the medical provider of your intention to use MedPay coverage to avoid billing problems.

A Letter of Protection

A letter of protection from a personal injury attorney will be accepted by many doctors to allow treatment. However, there are many doctors that do not accept it, most notably most orthopedic doctors.

If you have no private health insurance or MedPay coverage, there are few other options for obtaining medical care unless you are Medicare or Medicaid eligible.  One possible option depending upon the type of medical care needed is a letter of protection from a lawyer.  A letter of protection basically guarantees that the medical provider will get paid from any judgment or settlement proceeds.

Unfortunately, many medical providers will not take patients on a letter of protection.  This is particularly true of the providers most needed in auto accident cases– orthopedic doctors and surgeons.  It can be quite challenging at best to find orthopedic doctors and other specialists that will accept a letter of protection.

There may be other possible solutions.  Every case is different and deserving of individual analysis of coverage and care options.  This applies to all aspects of insurance coverage and medical care.  In addition, the options may be dictated by locale.  For instance, it will be easier to get medical care on a letter of protection in larger metropolitan areas.  This also means that if you are willing and able to travel, you will have greater treatment options.

An Attorney Can Help

If you are injured in car accident, it is important to understand these issues.  It is generally advisable to seek the guidance of a personal injury law attorney experienced in car accident cases.