Who has to pay my medical bills after an accident?

Do I have to pay my own medical bills?  

If you were injured in a car crash or other type of accident and received medical treatment for your injuries, you may be confused about who is responsible for paying your medical bills related to the collision. Logically, you would think that the at-fault driver (and his or her insurance company) is responsible for paying for your medical bills.

Why doesn't the person that caused my car accident (the at fault driver) or their insurance company have to pay my medical bills right now for my ongoing treatment

When it comes to your ongoing medical bills, the at-fault driver's insurance carrier typically will not want to pay for ongoing medical treatment unless it can settle the claim in full. The carrier knows that if it agrees to ongoing payments to your healthcare providers, then the claim will likely drag on while the total value of the claim continues to rise (generally the more treatment received, the higher the value the claim).

Unfortunately, the other driver’s insurance company doesn’t have to pay you anything, now or later, unless you force them to pay by bringing a civil lawsuit against their insured client. However, if a valid claim exists a lawsuit is usually not necessary if you accept the carrier’s determination of what the claim is worth.

Insurance Companies Want To Save Money By Paying You As Little As Possible

Thus, if you agree with the other person's insurance company on how much your case is worth then you’ll be able to settle the claim fairly quickly and with ease. But the at-fault carrier will often intentionally undervalue the claim in an effort to save the company money.

The at-fault carrier usually wants to pay just one lump sum to settle the claim so it can move on.  By making a one-time lump sum payment, the claim is closed and the carrier’s exposure to paying out more later is terminated. That's the goal of the at-fault carrier is to settle the claim quickly and efficiently so it can pay less money out and increase its profit.

RELATED QUESTION: How Do I Get My Accident-Related Medical Bills Paid Now?


Chris Davis
Top-rated, award-winning, attorney practicing wrongful death & serious injury law in Seattle.