So what do you do when you get medical bills in the mail from your bicycle accident? The accident wasn’t even your fault and now you’re stuck with medical bills you can’t afford because your case hasn’t even settled yet. Seems unfair doesn’t it?
Your bicycle personal injury attorney may be able to offer some valuable help. Consulting with an experienced bicycle accident attorney is your first step. If you were my client I would you tell you these two basic principles: (1) Avoid Collections; and (2) Be Patient. Suffering from a bicycle accident can be traumatic enough without having to be sent to collections. You should avoid collections as best as possible. And of course, be patient. Accident cases may take a long time before they actually settle out. Insurance companies are in no hurry to open up their bank accounts and pay you money. They will take their time and are often misguided in the valuation of bicycle accident cases. Their typical under valuation of your bicycle accident case will naturally result in a longer litigation period to get them to realize what your claim is really worth. Most of the insurance adjustors are still trying to wrap their head around the fact that your bicycle may be worth more than their car! Since these cases may take months and even years to receive any compensation, it is a good idea to understand how medical billing may affect you and to know what you can do to minimize any negative risks. It is likely that sometime during your bicycle accident case you will be confronted with medical bills.
One of the classic ways to deal with a medical provider is to get them to put a lien on your insurance settlement in lieu of billing you up front. That way when your case is settled the medical providers can be paid directly out of the proceeds of your case. One downside to this approach is that liens have to be paid prior to you getting any money for your self. These liens can and are often negotiated to a much lesser amount. Lien negotiations are an important aspect to our bicycle accident law practice. We save our clients thousands of dollars by encouraging medical providers to put liens in place and then negotiate those liens down when the case finally settles. Unfortunately, not all medical providers will put liens in place. They do not want to, nor can they be forced to wait until a settlement to collect on the services that they provided.
Submit to Insurance
Another way of handling your medical bills is to submit them all to your own health insurance company and pay your co-pays/deductible. This allows the medical provider to get paid now and keeps them for sending you to collections while you await your settlement. One downside to this approach is that your own insurance company may want to be reimbursed for the expenses they paid on your behalf since another individual (i.e. a 3rd party) was found to be liable/responsible for your accident – after all the 3rd party did hit you! If this is the case your own health insurance may submit a claim for subrogation. Subrogation is when your insurance company requires reimbursement out of your settlement proceeds for the medical bills they paid out since they weren’t responsible – in other words, they’ll say we want the 3rd party guy’s insurance to pay for all this since he hit you. These subrogation rights can also be negotiated, but are less likely to be reduced as much as medical liens.
If you do not have health insurance, and/or the medical providers were unwilling to put a lien in place, then your best bet is to enter into a small payment plan with your medical providers to keep them happy and to keep you out of collections. Many hospitals and medical providers are willing to accept small monthly payments instead of paying the high % fees of collection companies. Entering into a payment plan with them is a good idea if it keeps you out of collections. Also, settling with them directly on the overall balance is generally possible. They may be willing to accept 50% or less as paid in full. Either way, when you negotiate a payment plan or settlement in full with a medical provider – make sure it is in writing!
Bicycle accident cases can take months and may even take a couple of years to settle out. During this time period you will receive medical care and be confronted with a variety of financial scenarios when paying them. It’s best to use a qualified and experienced bicycle accident attorney to help you navigate these issues. With the help of your attorney you may be able to get liens put in place, or bills submitted to your own health insurance carrier. In both cases your attorney can help you negotiate these liens/bills down at the time of settlement and in both cases you are kept out of collections. Alternatively, your attorney can assist you in contacting your medical providers and setting up payment plans for you to make small monthly payments and keep you out of collections. Bicycle accident cases are complex and you need not be forced into collections as a result of pending medical bills you can’t afford. Avoid collections and be patient.
Arizona Bicycle Accident Attorney Ben Dodge
If you, or someone you know were injured in a bicycle accident, hire a personal injury attorney who is experienced and has a successful track record. Ben Dodge, a licensed bicycle accident lawyer in Arizona, has dedicated his entire firm to one purpose: representing cyclists. Bicycle accident cases are the only cases Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC handles.
Ben has represented and assisted bicycle accident victims across the entire United States. As an avid and competitive cyclist himself, Mr. Dodge currently participates in national and local cycling events all over the country. It isn’t uncommon to spot him in early morning hours out riding his bike. The day he fell in love with his job was the day he devoted himself completely to bicycle accident cases.
Ben is a member of the National Bike Law Network. This is a select group of like minded bicycle accident attorneys founded in 1998. In concert with the mission of Bike Law, Ben represent cyclists injured in bicycle accidents, at the police station, with insurance companies, and in the courts. He advocates for the rights of all cyclists, not just his clients. He teaches the police about bike laws and bike safety, he educates drivers about the rules of the road, and he trains cyclists and clubs to ride more safely.
A Consultation With Experienced Arizona Bicycle Accident Attorney Ben Dodge is Free
Understanding your rights and obligations as a cyclist can bring clarity to your specific accident situation. It will always be in your best interest to be represented by an attorney who knows the bicycle laws and has a successful track record of winning bicycle accident cases. The negotiation tactics and strategies of winning a case are extremely important but should always take a back row seat to the litigation experience and knowledge of court room rules, local, state, and federal rules of civil procedure that can have significant impact on your bicycle accident case. It is wise to be represented by someone well versed in bicycle accident law, local and state bicycle ordinances, rules, regulations, policies, and laws. You should hire someone very familiar with negligence and tort law, civil procedure, and the rules of evidence as they all relate specifically to bicycle accident cases.
Ben Dodge always offers a complimentary in person consultation to all local cyclists and a complimentary phone consultation to any cyclist injured in a bike accident. Typically the consultations are schedule from 30-60 minutes depending on the severity of the accident. You can expect to get answers to questions, clarity, information, and reassurance of your personal bike accident liability and potential for recovery. In your free consultation you can generally expect to discuss such topics as:
- Your specific bike accident details, diagrams, and pictures from your perspective and then from the perspective of your bike accident attorney.
- The applicable local, state, and federal laws underlying your case.
- Your cyclist’s rights, obligations, and any potential liability.
- The process, procedure (in and out of court), and the time frame required to conclude your case.
- The value of your case and what you might expect as compensation.
You can call Arizona bicycle lawyer Ben Dodge of Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC at 1.855.663.3922 (855.ONE.EZ.CALL). Mr. Dodge’s staff is standing and ready to accept your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every single day of the year. Mr. Dodge will personally return your call within 24 hours. There is never an obligation for a complimentary consultation with Mr. Dodge. His passion is in representing cyclists and his entire office stands ready to serve with kindness and patience.
Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC
Call Ben Dodge today at 1.855.663.3922. Reach him by fax at 480.656.8334.
Mr. Dodge can also be reached by email at email@example.com
His Main Offices are located at:
Mesa Arizona (Home Base Office)
4824 E. Baseline Rd., Suite 124
Mesa, Arizona 85206
Phoenix Arizona Office
2415 E. Camelback Rd., Suite 700
Phoenix, Arizona 85016
Salt Lake City Utah Office
299 South Main
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111
St. George Utah Office
321 N. Mall Drive, Suite 103
St. George, Utah 84790
Mr. Dodge represents cyclists in the entire State of Arizona including but not limited to Mesa, Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma, Gilbert, Peoria, Glendale, Scottsdale, Ahwatukee, Tempe, Chandler, Prescott, Sedona, Flagstaff, Surprise, Kingman, Page, Lake Havasu City, Payson, Goodyear, Buckeye, Queen Creek, Paradise Valley, Show Low, Winslow, Maricopa, Nogales, Globe, Avondale, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Apache Junction, Carefree, Wickenburg, Pinetop-Lakeside, Strawberry, Anthem, Safford, and more. Ben Dodge is currently involved with bicycle accident cases all over the country and can assist in representation in all 50 states. He has helped cyclists in New York, Texas, California, Washington, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C.