After a car wreck, you may receive a letter from your health insurance company asking about your recent visit to the Emergency Room. What does this letter mean?
The scenario may go something like this: You are sitting at a red light, patiently waiting for it to turn green. When the light turns green, you start through the intersection only to be hit in the driver’s side door by a distracted teen talking on her cell phone and driving 30 miles per hour. Your body is thrown to the right even though you have your seat belt on and you immediately feel pain in your neck, ribs, low back and knee. It hurts to breathe and it hurts to move. An ambulance arrives and the paramedics get you out of the car and place you on a long spine board with a neck collar. You are strapped to the board at the ankles, knees, hips, chest and arms, and at the forehead. It is very uncomfortable. Several hours later, you manage to painfully and slowly walk out of the ER carrying three different prescriptions and a work excuse for a week.
Several days later, you receive a letter from your health insurance company asking if you were in an accident or if you were injured on the job. If so, when, where, what time, what happened, how were you injured, do you have a lawyer, and what’s that lawyer’s name, address, phone number, etc.
You are receiving this letter from your health insurance company because of a paragraph or a section in your health insurance policy. This paragraph or section typically contains some jumble of these words: subrogation, reimbursement, assignment, and right or rights.
Generally, these paragraphs or sections give your health insurance company the right to be reimbursed any money it has paid to a doctor or other health care provider for related medical treatment out of any money you may receive from the distracted teen’s car insurance company.
Unfortunately, the reimbursement of your health insurance company from your car wreck settlement gets even more complicated. As North Charleston car wreck attorneys, we have dealt with private health insurance companies regarding reimbursement from personal injury settlements. If you have been injured in a car wreck, we will take the time to discuss the specific facts of your case and how the law applies in your unique situation.
Katherine C. “K.C.” Lohr
Attorney at Law