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Who will pay for my medical treatment?

I was riding my bike when a car hit me. I want to see a doctor but can’t afford to. Who will pay for my medical treatment?

- BM, California

Answer:

If the motorist was at fault, the motorist's insurance company (assuming the driver had auto insurance) will pay for what it deems "reasonable and necessary" medical treatment. But the insurance company won't pay for the medical bills as you incur them; they only pay after you agree to a settlement and sign a release. If you treat for several months, that means you probably won't be in a position to begin settlement negotiations for several months. So how can you treat in the meantime? If you hire a personal injury lawyer, your attorney can refer you to a doctor who will treat you on a lien. A "lien" means that you don't have to pay the doctor upfront. The doctor agrees to wait to be paid until your claim settles. Most doctors won't treat you on a lien unless you have a lawyer representing you on the accident. They want assurance that they will be paid; an attorney representing you gives them that assurance.

If you live in or around Santa Monica, our bike accident lawyers can refer you to a medical provider in the area who will treat you on a lien.



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