One question that is often asked by new clients is whether or not they should pay the co-pays when they visit a doctor after a wreck. We often have clients say that they should not have to pay these co-pays because the person who caused the wreck should pay them. Ultimately, the responsible party will end up paying for those co-pays in the settlement regardless of whether you pay them now or wait to pay them later.
We recommend that you pay your co-pays and outstanding medical bills if you are able. If you refuse to pay your co-pays because you want the other side to pay them, the only person it can hurt is you. When an insurance company makes an offer to settle a case, they are considering the out-of-pocket expenses you incurred for your medical care, which includes your co-pays and deductibles. The settlement offer will not change if these bills are paid or unpaid. So you are not increasing your offer by leaving these bills unpaid. Therefore, there is no gain for you to leave these bills unpaid. However, there are potential negative effects that could occur to your credit score if these bills remain unpaid. If the insurance company stalls the case, which is common, these debts will remain unpaid and your medical providers may decide to send the bills to collections. This will affect your overall credit score negatively because you will have bills listed as unpaid and sent to collections. Given enough time this can become bad debt and be reflected on your credit score. It is not uncommon to see clients credit scores lower by a small amount if they choose to not pay their co-pays.
We understand that not everyone is financially able to pay their co-pays and outstanding deductibles after a wreck. We have methods we use to try and delay medical providers from sending debts to collections while we attempt to settle your case. So if you find yourself injured after a wreck come talk to the lawyers at Hodges Trial Lawyers and we would be happy to discuss your options!