PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania. If you were hurt in a car accident in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and are starting to receive hospital bills, you might wonder what steps you can take to protect your rights. Unexpected hospital bills can arise when health insurance companies only pay a portion of a medical bill and leave the balance to the patient to pay. According to the New York Times, insurers may only pay what they determine is a fair amount for patient care and services. When this happens, hospitals may send the patient a bill only for the balance. According to Vox, as many as one in five emergency room patients will end up receiving balance bills. These bills can be devastating financially. Vox reports that the bills can be in the tens of thousands of dollars, and in some cases, these bills can even reach six figures.
If you are facing an unexpected hospital bill after your car accident, what can you do to protect your rights? According to the New York Times, more patients are seeking the counsel of lawyers to fight these bills in court. And, in some cases, patients can win. Hospitals often don’t provide patients with a list of prices for goods and services before they receive treatment. If patients and a hospital have not agreed on the price of care, contract law dictates that the hospital should charge a fair market price. Imagine if a hair stylist charged you $10,000 for a haircut just because you didn’t agree to a price firsthand. Such a bill wouldn’t hold up in court and many contract law experts believe that outrageous hospital bills could likewise be challenged. While determining a fair market price can be challenging, a look at what your insurance was willing to pay might be a good start. In many cases, patients were able to get their hospital bills reduced by thousands of dollars by fighting back.
But what happens if your health insurance won’t pay your medical bill and you’re still being told you’re on the hook? Victims of car accidents may be able to seek damages from negligent parties to cover unexpected bills. Car insurance policies include coverage for bodily injury and the negligent party’s insurance may be responsible for paying medical bills if another person was hurt in a crash. But what happens if the other party’s insurance coverage doesn’t cover all your bills? Victims may also have the right to pursue damages either outside court or through litigation to cover these differences.
At the end of the day, if you’ve suffered serious injuries in a car accident and are facing unexpected medical bills, it is important to understand that you have rights under the law. You may have the right to seek damages for your lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical expenses from responsible parties and their insurance companies. We may be able to help you fight your hospital bills in court, fight negligent parties to help you get the recovery you may deserve, and work to protect your rights.
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