Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tip #5--Reimbursing Your Health Insurance from the Auto Settlement (Subrogation)

After your Wisconsin auto accident, your medical bills may be paid through your health insurance. The medical pay coverage of your own auto policy (a no-fault coverage) is another source of insurance to pay your bills right away.

If the accident was not your fault, you can make a liability claim against the insurance of the other driver. In this claim you can ask for compensation for your medical bills, your lost wages, pain and suffering and permanent disability. It is best to wait until you finish your treatment and the doctor can assess whether you have permanent injuries before settling with the liability carrier. For a serious accident, the doctor will wait for at least a year to make this assessment. This means the liability settlement based on the doctor's report comes 1-2 years after the accident. During that time, the liability carrier will generally not pay any medical bills. If medical bills remain unpaid for that period, the injured person can be sent to collection, even though the accident was not his or her fault! This is why most people use the medical pay coverage from their own car or their own health insurance to pay the bills as they are incurred.

In the liability settlement, the liability insurance carrier pays an amount that covers all the related bills, the lost wages and the pain and suffering. If the injured party's bills have already been paid by the health insurance company and the auto medical pay carrier, those companies usually must be reimbursed from the settlement funds. This reimbursement is called subrogation.

If you hire an attorney, he or she will negotiate to bring down the amount of subrogation that is paid out of the settlement. This means you'll get to keep more of the settlement.