When you are injured in an automobile accident, it is generally wise to give your medical providers your personal health insurance card and ask them to file your medical bills under your health insurance.  While you should confirm with your attorney whether or not this is his or her advice, I usually give this advice for two reasons.  First, you want to avoid having any medical bills sent to collections while you and your attorney are negotiating with the insurance company who insures the at-fault party.  Most insurance companies will pay a one-time lump sum settlement after the client is finished treating or reaches maximum medical improvement. 

      Second, using your health insurance to pay your medical bills will often work in your favor and increase your net settlement proceeds.  Under the collateral source rule, the at fault party is required to pay you for the full value of your medical bill, not the amount that your health insurance company paid. This generally means, more settlement dollars for you. Keep in mind however, that generally you are required to reimburse your health care provider for what they paid out of your settlement or judgment.

Christopher J. Hudson
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Local Augusta lawyer specializing in workers' compensation, car accident and personal injury claims.

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