How To Handle Your Bills While Waiting For A Personal Injury Settlement
Published on:August 17, 2017

When people pursue a personal injury lawsuit, they never think that the bills and expenses will pile up before they can get their settlement. But life does not stop for a lawsuit, and it can take a long time before you see any kind of settlement in your bank account. It can be months or even years between winning in court and getting paid, so you need to figure out how to pay your bills to avoid dire consequences.

Why You Don’t Want To Go Bankrupt

Some people think that they can collect bills and then get them discharged through bankruptcy before they get their settlement. The one big problem with that plan is that the bankruptcy trustee will take your settlement and use it to pay your bills. You might get some of your settlement back, but remember that the trustee will apply your settlement to your entire bankruptcy. If your bankruptcy was a total of $60,000 and your settlement is $50,000, then your settlement will go towards paying off your debt.

Your New Bills

Along with the bills you are used to seeing, you might start to see medical bills pile up and your health insurance provider might get selective about what they cover. Your injuries might be covered by your auto insurance, which might not pay as much as your health insurance. You might also need to hire people to help you care for your home while you recover as your family is unable to help. On top of all of this, you need to figure out how you are going to pay your bills without an income if your injuries prevent you from working.

Apply For Disability

If you were seriously injured in your accident, the apply for disability and use that money to pay your bills while you wait for your settlement. You might have to give up a few things like cable television and your smartphone, but you might be able to make it on disability while you wait for your payday.

Talk To The Hospital

The hospital where you racked up your bills is only interested in getting paid for its services. You can call the hospital and see if they will set up a payment plan with you (many will), or you can offer to let the hospital put a lien against your settlement for the amount you owe them. You could choose to just ignore your extra bills, but that will get judgments against you that will start to eat away at your settlement. It is best to talk to your creditors and work something out.

Talk To Your Health Insurance Company

Your health insurance company might not even know that you are getting extra medical bills as it has a contract with the hospital to pay for your treatment based on schedule of fees. Before you give up hope on paying your medical bills, you should talk to your health insurance provider and find out your options.

Just because you won your personal injury lawsuit does not mean that you will be immediately rolling in cash. It takes time to get your settlement, and you will continue to accrue bills while you wait. It is best to be proactive about these bills and have them taken care of before your settlement makes it into your bank account.