Not having health insurance is taking a gamble, and if involved in an accident, such as a car crash, you may be wondering whether you should see a doctor. In some cases, you may have no choice; your injuries may be so severe that not seeking medical care simply isn’t an option. If injuries are minor, however, and you do have a choice, is seeking medical care without insurance after an accident worth it?
A Doctor Cannot Refuse to See You
If you do want to see a doctor for your injuries even though you do not have health insurance, a doctor cannot refuse to see you if your injuries are considered to be “critical.” Indeed, under the 1986 Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), anyone who goes to a hospital emergency room is entitled to be treated and stabilized regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. As such, you can take comfort in knowing that if medical treatment is essential and necessary, you will be able to receive treatment despite being uninsured.
You Will Be Liable for Your Medical Bills
However, while you may be able to seek treatment even if you do not have health insurance, you must remember you will have to pay for this treatment. This can be a catch-22; you may want to seek medical care, but may become worried about incurring hundreds or thousands of dollars in debt. The fact that you may need proof of medical care in order to seek compensation from your injuries via a personal injury claim at a later date makes this dilemma particularly frustrating; if you don’t seek care, whether or not your injuries valid, may become questioned. If you do seek care, you may end up with medical debt.
You May Be Able to File a Car Accident/Personal Injury Claim
While you should never place 100 percent confidence in the ability to recover compensation from another party. If your injuries become caused by the fault and negligence of someone else, you may file a personal injury claim. In addition, you may recover the full extent of your medical bills, as well as other economic and noneconomic losses. As such, if you incur medical debt but then receive a settlement, a part of your settlement becomes used to pay your medical bills.
Speak with an Attorney to Learn More
Knowing what to do after an accident if you don’t have health insurance can be confusing. If you’re torn, we suggest that you consult with an experienced New Mexico injury attorney as soon as possible. To clarify, consultations offered free of charge, but many law firms maintain agreements with doctors. Also, they will treat clients without requiring upfront payments, collecting payment from a settlement at a later date.
To learn more about how we can help you, call the offices of Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C. today. You can also contact us by using the intake form on our contact page.