As a local lawyer who handles car accident and injury cases, as well as personal injury cases involving motorcycles, trucks and pedestrians, in Venice, Sarasota, Englewood and surrounding communities, I am often asked how medical bills will be paid; this is especially a concern if the injured person or a family member requires surgery.
Florida citizen drivers are required to carry minimum limits of “no fault” auto insurance commonly referred to as “Personal Injury Protection” coverage or “PIP.” Subject to a few exceptions and limitations, a Florida PIP insurance policy should pay benefits equal to 80% of the cost of medical bills and / or 60% of lost wages up to a total of $10,000.00. Visiting the emergency room, however, followed by several weeks of a doctor’s care or a few diagnostic tests may cause this coverage to be rapidly used up.
Once no-fault benefits have been exhausted, how will the victim pay for surgery, if needed, and rehabilitative care in the event they do not have health insurance or government benefits such as Medicare or Medicaid? One logical source might be the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The problem, however, is that the liability insurance company rarely advances money for surgery. Instead, they prefer to make a one-time settlement in lump sum form to the injured person at the end of the case.
So what is someone in this predicament to do? The best option (provided the doctor and hospital agree), is something called a “Letter of Protection.” By signing a letter of protection, the client agrees to pay the doctor, hospital and other healthcare providers out of the settlement when the case is concluded. This allows the patient to receive the medical care with the understanding that he or she will ultimately pay for the cost of it once settlement funds are received. This arrangement allows an injured patient to receive the necessary surgery without further delay.
If you have been involved in an automobile, motorcycle or trucking accident, have questions concerning your insurance coverage or want to know what to do after a car accident, please feel free to call me, James Keim, Attorney at Law, for a free, confidential consultation at (941) 485-7600. As a Venice car accident lawyer, I can assist you as you seek to get your bills paid and lost wages recovered. All cases are handled on a contingency fee basis; you pay no fees or costs unless I am successful in making a recovery on your behalf. Attorney fees and costs are simply deducted from the recovery that is made at the end of the case.