After getting in an accident, it’s not uncommon to immediately start worrying about the looming medical bills that will follow. Depending on the severity of injury, the medical costs can add up to tens of thousands of dollars or more. Just the ride alone from the crash site to the hospital can be over $1,000, which is a substantial amount of money for a mere ride. However, if you’re a victim of a car accident, there are things you can do to reduce the amount of money you need to pay out of pocket. In fact, if you’re not at fault and you work with an experienced personal injury attorney, you may be able to receive compensation for all of your medical bills and more. To increase the chances of a positive financial outcome, consider some of the following tips.

Seek Immediate Treatment

Following a car accident, the most important thing for you to do is seek immediate medical treatment. The sooner you can be examined by a doctor, the better. Minor injuries are often underestimated because they’re either masked by adrenaline or victims don’t realize they were caused by the accident. However, when left untreated, even the smallest injury can lead to years of chronic pain and extensive medical bills.

When you forego treatment, these can worsen after you’ve already filed a claim and undergone the settlement process. This means that you’ll be stuck dealing with your medical bills on your own. While it can be scary to face medical debt, your health is more important. Plus, when minor injuries aren’t treated properly, they have the potential to become major problems down the line. This leads to even higher medical bills in the future, lost income opportunities, and no way to get reimbursed. Therefore, even if you don’t think you’re hurt, always be examined by a professional.

Keep Meticulous Records

When seeking care, it’s important to keep a thorough record of all of your hospital bills, doctor’s visits, chiropractic care, and any other type of specialist you see following an accident. Read each bill in detail and itemize them so you can properly send the records over to your insurance company for a claim. Depending on your claim, you may be entitled to recover financial compensation for medical services such as ambulance fees, emergency room costs, hospital room charges, necessary medication, medical equipment, visits to a specialist, x-rays, diagnostic testing, physical therapy costs, or even transportation costs. Do not send your medical bills to your car insurance company. They should go to your health insurance provider, as doing so can help you reduce the initial costs of coverage following an accident.

This is an important distinction that many people oversee, as hospital staff are told to ask victims of a car accident to sign an authorization that allows them to bill your car insurance company. This is done with the form that’s called Assignment of Benefits (AOB). Do not sign this authorization. Instead, keep billing to your health insurance company. You can revisit these costs later, once you’re negotiating a settlement with the liable party.

If you don’t have health insurance, don’t avoid treatment. There are options to create payment plans that can be taken care of after working with a personal injury attorney and receiving financial compensation for your injuries.

Decline Settlement Offers

Depending on the severity of the accident, the liable party’s insurance may reach out to offer you a settlement offer. This is a lump sum that you would be entitled to, but accepting it means that you’d be unable to ask for any further compensation dealing with the accident. The settlement may cover a majority of your medical bills, but it might not include lasting complications, vehicular damage, emotional trauma, and more. Therefore, the best way to go about seeking financial compensation is to work with a personal injury attorney.

Hire a Terrell, TX Personal Injury Attorney

Remember, caring for your physical and mental health should take precedent to beginning legal action. The sooner that you seek help after your accident, however, the better. A personal injury attorney will assess the entirety of the accident to determine which party is liable and whether or not negligence was involved. This can help you gain confidence about dealing with growing medical bills due to injuries suffered during an accident. Working with an attorney also ensures that your rights are protected, and you’re not taken advantage of with a low settlement option. Regardless of what the insurance company is trying to offer, personal injury attorneys will make sure that you’re fairly compensated for accidents that were out of your control. To avoid any issues with the legal process, it’s best to start working with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

File a Claim

Once you’ve hired an attorney, it’s time to file a claim. You’ll want to determine the pros and cons of filing a claim based on your state and any pre-determined “at fault” clauses that may be present. The process begins with contacting the insurance company and providing detailed information about the crash. The best way to ensure this information is accurate is to rely on the police report you got at the scene of the accident. If you didn’t file a police report at the time, you can go back to the station and file one after the fact. Make sure you keep this number on file for your claim. Afterwards, the insurance company will assign your case an adjuster, who will follow up with various questions, check documentation, and ask for all of your medical bills. If the settlement they offer is insufficient, your personal injury attorney can help you negotiate a fair amount.

If you or a loved one have been in a car accident and are facing high medical bills, contact an experienced Dallas personal injury attorney at Houston M. Smith. Our Terrell, TX law firm is here to provide you with the representation you need to maximize your settlement and provide for yourself while you’re recovering. We provide each of our clients with guidance, protection, and advocacy. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.