When you suffer injuries in an auto accident or other personal injury accident, your health insurance (depending on your policy terms) will likely pay all or part of your bills. Whether you have private insurance such as Blue Cross or government aid such as Medicaid or Medicare, these entities will be involved in some way to cover your personal injury bills.
These entities will also put you on notice that they have a "subrogation interest" or a "lien" on any recovery you obtain from the at-fault party in your personal injury claim, if you proceed with a claim for money damages against that at-fault party. Health insurance policies and government policies have the right to assert these interests in any recovery you receive, but they operate in different ways. Medicaid and Medicare have the right to be paid back without question, although they will often take a reduced amount that takes into consideration attorney fees and expenses if you hired a personal injury lawyer to help you obtain a recovery.
Private health insurance will also often take a reduced amount, but this requires some negotiating and analysis of the case facts to do so. So if you plan to proceed with a claim for money damages after a personal injury accident, understand that it will require you to pay back any health insurance entity that paid all or part of your bills.
"Figuring out who gets what, when and how much is one of the most complex things personal injury lawyers do following a settlement. To do it right one has to understand health insurance contracts, federal and state laws, along with comparative fault law. Lay people are easily taken advantage of by casualty insurance companies as they claim to be entitled to 100% of their payout. They are not. When people call me following their settlement, and are searching for a quick and easy answer, it is impossible to shed light on why this is impossible. Especially when they have settled without a lawyer. My advice? Hire a lawyer and become a paying client. Otherwise, we have paying clients to attend to.", Attorney Steve Lombardi
If you've been injured in an accident contact us online or call us directly at 515.222.1110 for your free consultation.