What happens if I need surgery after a motor vehicle accident but I do not have health insurance?
In many cases that our office handles, a client who sustains bodily Injuries typically initially undergo conservative medical care. The conservative medical can include treatment from their primary care physicians, orthopedic surgeons; chiropractors; and physical therapy. The types of treatment and the length of medical treatment depend upon the progress of each patient. Every case is different. In some situations, the doctors will conclude that conservative medical care is not enough and surgery is needed. However, there are many people who do not have health insurance .The question then arises as to how are those without health insurance going to arrange to pre-pay for the operating room; the surgical fee; the anesthesiologist; and any post- operative care such as physical therapy?
Most hospitals will not agree to permit surgeries without advance arrangements for pre-payment. Therefore, without health insurance, many of our clients are in a position where they need future surgery but cannot have it before the case settles or goes to trial. Nevertheless, in these situations there may be some remedies for those who need surgery. In these situations, we will send a letter to the operating surgeon and ask him to outline in a report why he or she is recommending surgery; if the surgery resulted from the accident; the risks of the surgery; the benefits of the surgery; the cost of the surgery; and what if any postoperative care will be needed and the estimated costs of all such future medical care.
In a motor vehicle accident case for example, when negotiating with the insurance company for the at-fault driver, we will request reimbursement from that parties insurance company, not only for the past medical expenses, but also for the future cost associated with the surgery.
While some insurance companies will decline to pay for such future expenses, arguing that they are not going to compensate an injury victim for future medical care, there are other options still available to us should this occur. Namely, we can always file a lawsuit against the at-fault party, and, if a jury or judge concludes that it is more likely than not that such surgery is required as a result of the accident, then in many cases, our client can be awarded compensation for those future expenses. This way, the client will now be in a position to have the money available to pay surgery if they decide to undergo it. Again each case is different and these decisions will ultimately be made based on the recommendations of our attorneys and the decisions made by our clients with respect to their own medical care.