Getting Treatment without Health Insurance 

ELI5: Negligence

Is getting treatment without health insurance even possible? Spoiler alert: DON’T avoid treatment just because you don’t have insurance! 

Problems with Avoiding Treatment 

When a person is injured, but doesn’t receive treatment for their injuries, regardless of the reason, insurance companies always use that as an excuse to deny the claim or minimize the amount they pay to resolve it. Usually, they’ll argue that you weren’t really injured because, if you were, you would have gotten treatment. In some cases, the insurance company may attempt to settle the case by offering a low settlement that doesn’t cover all of the injured party’s medical expenses. If the injured party hasn’t received treatment—even if it’s just because you can’t afford it—the low settlement offer may be the best you can get from the insurance company. 

Problems with Delaying Treatment 

It can also damage your case if you put off treatment, even if you’re putting it off because you can’t afford it. In these cases, the insurance company can either argue that you’re not really that injured—because if you were, you’d have gotten treatment sooner.  Alternatively, they could argue that you were injured in a different incident, not the one their client caused. If you think you’ve been injured, it’s important to have the injury evaluated as soon as it becomes apparent. If a doctor prescribes a treatment, you need to follow the doctor’s orders. Even though you may be injured due to someone else’s negligence, you likely have a duty to take reasonable precautions to mitigate your injuries. If your injuries become worse because you delayed treatment, you may not be able to get compensation for the additional medical attention you’ll need. 

How Much Does a Personal Injury Attorney Cost? 

If you have sustained an injury, it is always a good idea to attend a free consultation with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible—ideally before you even talk to the insurance company. At Moxie Law Group, the consultation is free, even if you don’t hire the personal injury attorney that you speak with. If we determine that we can help you get the compensation you deserve, we’ll take your case on “contingency.” This means that you don’t pay us anything out of pocket. Instead, we work on your case without collecting payment upfront. Once you get a judgment or settlement in your favor, a portion of that will cover your legal fees. In almost all cases, the settlement or judgment that a person receives is much greater than the settlement they would have gotten if they’d negotiated the claim with the insurance company themselves. And this is still true even after you factor in the cost of the legal fees. 

Getting Treatment without Insurance 

When you meet with a personal injury attorney, they can give you a list of medical professionals who will see you without payment upfront. These medical professionals provide treatment through a legal arrangement called at “lien,” meaning your expenses associated with that treatment will be paid once you receive your settlement or judgment.  In the event that you lose your case, the lien disappears, and although it’s rare you still have to  pay for that treatment, it can happen. The specifics of your arrangement may vary, so make sure your personal injury attorney explains this to you, and that you understand what they’ve said. This way, you will be able to get treatment even though you don’t have insurance—which is very important to your case. 

Can You Borrow against Your Settlement? 

Since settlements and judgments can take a long time, there are companies who will let you borrow against your settlement or judgment. This is not advisable, as the interest rates are often very high, and it’s possible that you could end up owing more than you receive. If you are struggling to pay certain injury related expenses, it may be a good idea to speak with an attorney on what you can do to cover these expenses while you’re waiting for your settlement or judgment.  Although you may need the money as soon as possible, borrowing against your settlement without consulting your personal injury attorney isn’t usually a good idea since your personal injury attorney may be able to direct you to other resources that don’t involve paying steep interest rates. 

When You’ve Been Injured 

If you’ve sustained injury due to the negligence of another person, contact Moxie Law Group today to get started on your free consultation. 

 

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