After an accident, you know that you deserve compensation. As the cost of your medical bills climb, you file a claim against the person or institution responsible. The court process, unfortunately, takes time. As you go through the trial, you still have bills stacking up.
Plaintiffs sometimes wonder if they have to pay medical bills during the negotiations or trial. After all, the defendant owes you for the cost of medical care. Even so, there are reasons you should pay your bills.
Doctors Can Demand Payment
Hospitals or medical providers can still demand payment. Since they provided the treatment, they are still owed money for that treatment. Your doctor is not necessarily involved in your case. While the defendant may owe you money for damages, you still owe the doctor for his or her treatment. The money you receive is compensation for those payments. While you can use your settlement to pay for doctor bills, you cannot ignore the doctor’s bills until you receive the settlement.
Often, you can work with your doctor when it comes to outstanding medical payments. Many hospitals will provide you with a means to set up a payment plan for your bills. If you’re struggling under the weight of medical costs, your best option is to speak with the billing department at your hospital.
Medical Debt Can Affect Your Credit Score
In most cases, medical debt won’t affect your credit score. If you owe medical bills, you may receive endless calls from the hospital and you may feel overwhelmed by the number of bills you receive in the mail, but odds are, it won’t impact your credit score.
This is only in the early stages, however. If you refuse to pay your bills, then the hospital can turn your bills over to a collection agency. Once this happens, it can impact your credit score negatively. Hospitals and medical providers do not generally report to a credit bureau. A collection’s agency does, however. To be on the safe side, you can protect your credit score by working out an arrangement to pay your bills.
Medical debt can be devastating. Likely, you don’t have enough money to pay off all of your medical bills at once. If that’s the case, try to work with your hospital or medical provider. Most hospitals will provide you with a means to make payments towards your bill. Consult with an attorney, like a personal injury attorney from Ward & Ward Law Firm, to discuss how to handle medical bills.