Thomas McCutcheon

There is a common belief that in an automobile accident case the other party’s insurance company, if they were at fault, will pay your medical bills. They will not. They will not pay as you get treatment. They don’t want you to get treatment. What should you do?

The answer is straight forward. If you have health insurance, whether it’s Blue Cross, Humana, Cigna or Medicare, let them pay your bills. This is important for several reasons.

First, your bills will be paid and your credit will not suffer. Second, these organizations have a schedule of payments that the healthcare provider has agreed to accept that is less than what auto insurance companies pay. This means that the total amount has to be paid back is less which means you will get more. Third, you get the treatment that you need when you need it. If the insurance can get you to wait long enough, they will absolutely claim that something else happened to you that they are not responsible for.

Blue Cross and other insurance providers are “second party payors”. Doctors and hospitals are “first party providers”. Second party payors have the right to be repaid by the party who caused the accident. Your insurance company will get some of their money back. Alabama has a law that says if you hire an attorney to recover damages the health insurance company discounts the amount they are repaid. This means more money for the injured person. And often it is a very significant amount of money. There have been attorneys who charged for getting medical bills reduced. This is illegal. It is absolutely part of the job of a personal injury attorney to attempt to reduce the medical bill repayment amount.

Always have hospitals and medical care providers, whether physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors or medical device providers bill your health insurance carrier. They don’t necessarily want to, but it is the best solution for you both in the short term and the long term.

Buckle up, drive safely and as always your referrals are appreciated! 256-764-0112

Ask the Attorney is sponsored by local attorneys, McCutcheon & Hamner, PC, as a service to the residents of NW Alabama.

Please send the questions to:

“Ask the Attorney,”

P. O. Box 38,

Florence, Alabama 35631

or visit our website at:

facebook: McCutcheon and Hamner, P.C.

We will not print your full name in the article. We will not be able to return any written or preprinted items which are submitted.

No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality legal services performed by other lawyers.