We receive calls almost every day from people who have been in a Tennessee car, motorcycle or truck accident and are unable to get medical treatment because they do not have health insurance. Many doctors refuse to see accident victims unless they have health insurance or are willing to pay cash for the service. There are lots of people – about 48 million in the country – who have no health insurance and many of those people cannot pay cash for medical treatment.
There are only four options left for these people. One, borrow money from family or friends to see a doctor. Two, attempt to ignore the medical problem and hope that it will solve itself. Three, use the medical payments (also called "med pay") provision of the insurance on your vehicle to help pay for treatment. Fourth, ask your lawyer if he or she can make arrangements for a doctor to treat you – a doctor who will forgo seeking payment until after you case resolves.
It is a mistake to assume that the at-fault driver’s insurance company will pay for treatment. They may accept responsibility for the accident, but the at-fault driver’s insurance company will almost never pay medical bills for you as they are incurred. It is possible this insurance company will reimburse you for the bills at the time your treatment is complete and you are ready to settle the entire claim, but they will not give you money in advance of treatment or let your doctor bill them for treatment.
So, if you do not have health insurance having "medical payments" coverage on your vehicles is important. To see if you have this type of insurance coverage look on the insurance policy’s "declaration page" – the sheet where all of the insurance coverage is listed for each vehicle you insure.
The failure to seek medical treatment and follow-up on treatment as ordered by your doctor will not only affect your health but will also affect the value of your personal injury claim. Simply put, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will assume that you were not hurt or that your injuries were not serious if you do not seek prompt medical attention. I am not suggesting that you go to a doctor if you are not hurt, or that you should go to a doctor and try to claim that other medical problems were caused by the wreck. I am suggesting that you seek medical treatment for problems you have and that if you are unable to pay for treatment that you talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer about what options you have to get treatment. Prompt medical treatment important, not only for your health and well-being, but also to allow your lawyer to prove the nature, extent and cause of your injuries.