If you have been seriously injured during a bicycle accident in Iowa, medical bills are likely piling up. You probably want to know how you can get these bills paid.
A driver in Iowa is at fault for a bicycle crash when his or her actions cause the injury of a bike rider. This does not mean only when they strike you with their vehicle. If a driver fails to pass or fails to ride next to you at a safe distance and you are forced into traffic or off of the road, the driver may be liable for your injuries in that instance as well.
That being said, the driver who hurt you (or their insurance company) has no obligation to pay for your injuries until ordered to do so by a judge after a jury trial. If they decide to settle your claim, they’ll only write one settlement check. After that one check, it’s unlikely the other driver’s insurance will pay any additional money for that claim – even if your injury gets worse or you need future medical treatment.
That means until your case settles or goes to trial, you are responsible for paying those bills.
There are a few things you can do to make sure these bills aren’t sent to collections – and ruin your credit – while you’re waiting for compensation.
Do not leave your medical bills unpaid – if you have health insurance, submit these bills to them instead. Once you settle your case, you will probably need to pay your health insurance back. This is called “subrogation.” An attorney can explain the ins and outs of subrogation to you and help you get a fair settlement that takes care of your subrogation liens and still has money left over for you.
If you don’t have health insurance, you may be able to use your medical payment coverage on your auto insurance policy to help pay bills. This coverage, also known as “med pay” coverage, helps personal injury victims cover some of the expenses of an accident. This type of coverage only helps with medical-related issues, so you cannot use it for lost wages.
Your auto insurance company will need to be paid back after settlement (through subrogation liens) if you use this option.
If you don’t have health insurance or med pay coverage, you may need to cover these bills out of your own pocket. Most providers will understand your situation and help you set up small payments.
We do not recommend taking out any loans against your settlement. Generally speaking, those loans are high-interest and can leave you with far less money in your pocket after settlement is complete.
The driver’s auto insurance may be responsible for compensating you for your injuries under its liability coverage if the driver was at fault for your wreck. But there are a couple of exceptions to this.
It is a good idea to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can request and review your auto policy to see if your own auto insurance can help.
Because the insurance company for the other side will only write one check, it’s important that you don’t settle your case too early. Settling your claim before you’re completely healed means you will have to pay any further medical bills you receive out of your own pocket.
RSH Legal offers a free case evaluation for Iowans who have suffered bicycle accident injuries. Schedule yours today by calling 1-800-433-0283.
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