How to Pay Your Bills After a Bicycle Crash
While paying your bills is usually a fairly mundane part of daily life, after you’ve been in a crash, paying bills can become one of the most stressful parts of your life. You might start to see bills from all sorts of new sources (insurance companies, medical centers, repair shops) and the amounts are probably much higher than you’re used to paying.
The price tag associated with hospital stays, physical therapy, and the many other steps you have to take to get yourself back on your feet after an accident can sometimes feel more debilitating than the actual injuries themselves.
Luckily, a knowledgeable attorney can help you navigate the new bills you’re being sent. One of the biggest advantages to hiring an attorney to help you with your bicycle accident case is the assistance and advice on paying your bills that an experienced lawyer can give you.
In this post, we’ll give you an outline of how to manage your bills after a bicycle accident and how an attorney can help you make sure things get paid in a way that doesn’t bring the rest of your life to a screeching financial halt.
Managing your bills
One of the most important things to do when managing your bills after a bicycle crash is to stay organized.
We always advise clients to create a folder for every single receipt or bill associated with their accident. You should also save any reports, explanation of benefits documents, or letters you receive regarding your accident. When you have everything in one place, you will have a reliable reference to use to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.
You should share this folder with your attorney (if you hire one) as soon as possible. If you have any documents that you don’t understand, ask your attorney to explain them to you so that you know exactly what you’re working with and expected to do.
Your attorney can help you keep these documents organized and — even more importantly — prioritized. They can help you figure out which ones you can and should pay right away, and which ones you will should seek options for assistance with.
Paying your medical bills
In many cases, the biggest bills a bicycle crash victim will encounter are their medical bills. There can be big initial bills from the immediate injuries caused by the accident, as well as ones that linger on and on from ongoing care needed to fully treat injuries or to care for injuries that will never heal.
There are a number of ways that medical bills can get paid including:
- Your personal insurance
- Medical payments insurance through your auto insurance carrier
- Workers compensation (if you were injured while doing your job or as a result of working)
- Your personal funds
- Government health coverage like Medicare or Medicaid
- The driver’s insurance*
*Of course, an at-fault driver should be expected to cover some or all of your medical expenses; however, any funds that come from the at-fault driver would only come at the time of settlement of your case against them. That could be months or even a year after the bills initially come in, which doesn’t do you much good for paying your bills on time.
When your medical bills come in, it is in your best interest to pay them on time and in full. Whether that means digging into your savings or borrowing money from family, if necessary, it is worth it to many people to avoid serious damage to their credit score.
However, if you are truly unable to pay (if, for example, if you are uninsured or underinsured) or if you aren’t concerned with damage to your credit score, an attorney can work with the billing entity to create a medical lien that will be paid back after the settlement funds from your case come in.
Paying your other bills
These costs, like your medical costs, can be covered with funds from your settlement. However, as with your medical bills, these bills usually come due long before your case gets settled and you see the money.
As a result, it’s best to keep these costs organized and pay them yourself as you are able.
Talk to your attorney about what assistance may be available to you. For example, if you require therapy after your accident to work through lingering anxiety or depression, your attorney can help you locate low-cost resources in your area to help reduce the cost you have to pay out-of-pocket. Similarly, an attorney can help you make sense of your bills and help you prioritize which ones will make the biggest impact on improving your life post-accident.
An attorney is, above all, a trusted advisor. They are experts in your case and the laws associated with your case; your lawyer is there for you to offer advice, experience, and insight about how to make sure you get back on your feet as quickly and easily as possible.
Call Bay Area Bicycle Law today if you’ve been in a bicycle accident
If you’ve been in a bicycle accident and want help figuring out how to pay your bills and get back on your feet, contact our firm today for a free, confidential consultation. We can help you figure out the best next steps and strategies for your case that will work for you.