One of the things I want to talk with you about today is a matter that’s very confusing to most people, including attorneys, health insurance versus automobile insurance after a car crash, and after a car accident, an injured person in South Carolina has several different insurance options that can help pay for injuries and related losses. And these include your health insurance and your automobile insurance or the at fault automobile insurance policy. And the difference is, although both, health insurance and automobile insurance may cover your medical cost after an accident, there are a few major differences between the two. For accident victims, the most important of these is the fact that health insurance will only provide coverage for medical expenses. Automobile insurance, however, on the other hand, can provide many other types of compensation. When filing a claim with the person who is at fault with your insurance company, you can also demand compensation for your medical cost, but you can get reimbursement for lost income, lost earning potential in the future, property damage, pain and suffering, and any other losses that you sustained as a part of this car crash. One of the questions that arises between the two is should my health insurance company pay for us? And the simple answer is yes. They don’t always do that. They would like for the automobile insurance coverage to take care of it, as would your medical providers. You want to insist that your health insurance is filed with a medical provider for at least a couple of primary reasons. Once you file with health insurance, your medical providers get paid. There’s no delay. So there is no lack of payment with a medical provider wanting to turn this over to collections or this hurting your credit in any way. Most importantly, however, it ensures your continued ongoing treatment so that you can do the main thing you need to focus on and that’s simply get better. One of the things with health insurance, that you will have to do along the way, you may have a deductible or co-pay that you have to pay along the way. You will later be reimbursed through the automobile insurance for those out of pocket expenses. Once your case is settled, or it goes to court and there is a verdict in your favor, all of these expenses get paid back. So let’s talk about that car accident claims process. First thing that happens when you are in a wreck and it’s someone else’s fault, is the claim to report it to an insurance company. An insurance adjuster is assigned to your claim and their job is to investigate the claim, identify who’s at fault, what the damages were, before they pay out. The important thing here is that this will take a lot of time. So another very important reason for you to have your health insurance filed with your medical care providers. So they get paid immediately. There’s no interruption in your treatment. There’s no ding on your credit report. Once you settle your case, or you get a juryverdict in your favor, your health insurance company has the right to be paid back. The term in South Carolina is called subrogation. There are laws in South Carolina that you cannot get compensation twice. And so if the health insurance company pays for your medical bills and it was someone else’s fault and you receive money from someone else, whatever the insurance company, health insurance company paid for your medical bills, they’re entitled to get paid that back under the subrogation laws of South Carolina. The good news is it’s a reduced payback. It’s not the full amount. This is an additional benefit to you by filing with your health insurance company, with your medical providers. Last thing I want to touch on just a moment is Medicare and Medicaid, which are also health insurance plan programs. This applies to them also just like any other health insurance company, they will pay your medical bills. And at the end of the day, when you settle your case or get a juryverdict, they are entitled to be paid back, and that will happen under the same subrogation laws. So to sum this up, the only thing that you need to worry about or should be worried about after a car crash is getting better medically. You want to physically and mentally be made whole, and that’s all you should worry about. So if we handle your case, we will deal with the insurance company. We will deal with medical providers and we will take that burden off of you. If it’s not us, make sure that you get someone who only does injury law, who’s experienced in a particular type of case that you have and the particular type of injuries that you’ve had and let them do the rest. Hope that you don’t need us. But if you do give us a call.
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