What happens when PIP runs out?

by Michael
(Anchorage, Alaska)

My wife was involved in an auto accident about a year ago. She was not at fault. The other driver was 100% responsible. Her insurance company Geico has been paying her bills. The other drivers insurance company Allstate seems just to be in the background. Yesterday my wife was scheduled for a appointment with a new 'pain management' doctor that was going to give her an injection in the nerve that is thought to be causing her pain and her insurance company called and informed her that she only had $600 left in her account and that she would have to pay out of pocket for the procedure and any others that followed. My wife called the other drivers company, Allstate, and talked with a person she has had regular contact with, and likes, and he stated Allstate is going to pay for any and all bills accrued concerning the accident caused by their client but took the same stance as our Geico that we are responsible to pay now and until the case is settled. Our question is 'How do we pay for medical treatments when we are not wealthy and dont have any money upfront for these costly expenses? Thank You for your time and concern. God Bless, Michael, for Robin

Hi there, Michelle here...



Thank you for writing. You are facing a common but frustrating situation that many patients experience after car accidents. When the PIP runs out, what do you do next?

So you have a few options, and I will do my best to lay them out for you here.

First, which of course you have already presented as an option that will not work for your family is
to pay for the bills up front, and keep all the receipts and present these at the end of the case for reimbursement. If one can afford this, this is an option.

Second option, which I think will be the best option for you and your wife is to immediately hire an attorney. There are many reasons for this in your case. Your wife's accident was very serious. If she is needing an injection for pain, this tells me the injury is severe and she is going to need ongoing care.

Which means your attorney is going to need make sure your settlement includes future medical care
if necessary.

However, the current reason for obtaining an attorney is that many medical professionals will continue to work with your wife, without payment, if a lawyer is on your case.

The lawyer will often send out a letter which shows her/his representation of your case and guaranteeing payment when the case settles. This gives the medical provider security to continue your care, uninterrupted knowing they will be paid when you settle.

In addition, the attorney will often have relationships with medical providers who are experienced treating car accident patients who have run out of PIP. These providers are experienced with waiting on a settlement and are familiar with the attorney's role in getting them paid.

I strongly recommend hiring an attorney right away. Remember, there is no charge to you out of pocket for hiring a lawyer, instead the cost of the lawyer will come from the settlement. And you can speak to the lawyer first for a consultation at no charge to see if she or he is a good fit for you.

Most importantly, a lawyer will make sure your wife has uninterrupted care going forward, regardless of the sate of the PIP.

Even though the other company is being very nice, they have one and only objective: to save money. When it is time to bring this matter to a close, I guarantee, the adjuster who seems so friendly today, will feel more like an adversary who is working to keep your settlement as low as possible. Hiring a lawyer is for your protection.

Now, lets say even though I strongly recommend you hire a lawyer, you just feel strongly that you don’t wish to. So, your final option will be to have your health insurance pay for her ongoing treatments.

You will be responsible for the co-payments, deductibles. It will also be important that the doctors office accept your health insurance plan if you choose this route.

The co-payment, and deductible amounts may be able to be billed to the other insurance company when you are ready to settle. However, this will be challenging if you don't have a lawyer.

I do hope this helps. You are not without a lot of options. Here is a link to a referral source for finding a lawyer. If you choose, you can take a quick moment and fill out this form, and a lawyer from your area will contact you, again no charge nor obligation for this. Click here, fill out form.

Best of Luck, feel free to use the comment form if you have additional questions I can assist you with.

M.

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