Receiving Medical Treatment after a Florida Motor Vehicle Accident with No Health Insurance
If you are in a motor vehicle accident in Florida and you have suffered injuries as a result of another driver’s negligence, the chances are high that you will need medical treatment for those injuries. However, if you do not have health insurance, you may find yourself unable to pay the often-sizable sums demanded by some healthcare practitioners who will only treat uninsured patients if they pay the provider in cash prior to any treatment. Because many accident victims without health insurance may lack a primary care physician or a regular healthcare provider due to their lack of resources or inability to pay out of pocket, accident victims may find themselves wondering what to do if they have been injured in an accident caused by someone else and they need medical treatment.
However, what Florida accident victims need to understand is that they will not necessarily be forced to deal with the aftermath of painful injuries from a motor vehicle accident caused by someone else’s negligence without any medical treatment. Instead, many medical providers are willing to treat patients and accept payment later, once the case has been resolved. This treatment is rendered pursuant to a letter of protection, or an agreement between the patient and the healthcare provider that the healthcare provider will be compensated once a case or claim has been resolved, either through a settlement or a jury verdict.
As a service to our clients, the experienced motor vehicle accident attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A. will sometimes refer our clients to healthcare practitioners we know will take patients without health insurance. There is absolutely nothing wrong or unethical with this practice; we represent accident victims for a living and many of our clients may lack health insurance. Thus, we know which local physicians may treat patients and accept payment once a case has been resolved. The Florida Supreme Court even ruled in an April 2017 decision that a law firm referring a client to a treating physician is information that is protected by the attorney-client privilege. Therefore, even if you have been injured through no fault of your own by another motorist’s negligent actions, rest assured there are medical providers who will treat you for your injuries. By seeking treatment from a healthcare provider who chooses to accept payment after resolution of a case, you are not compromising the value of your claim.
Will Referral to a Particular Healthcare Provider by my Attorney be used against me at Trial or in Settlement Negotiation?
This is an excellent question, given that a defense lawyer’s first tactic, if a claim or lawsuit against an insurer or its insured driver has been made or filed, is often to attack (1) the very existence and (2) the severity of any injuries you may have suffered in a motor vehicle accident. A defense attorney may even attempt to attack the payment arrangements that have been made for the medical care and treatment that you receive from particular medical providers.
Thankfully, Florida provides even greater protections than some other states from a defense lawyer’s ability to learn how an accident victim was referred to a particular medical provider, and then use that information against an injured motorist or other personal injury victim in order to try to reduce the value of that person’s claim. Pursuant to an April 2017 Florida Supreme Court decision rest assured that defense attorneys are not allowed to obtain any information if your attorneys referred you to a particular healthcare provider or regarding the financial relationship between your attorney and that healthcare provider.
There is, therefore, nothing unethical or wrong with your attorney referring by you to a particular healthcare provider who will then be compensated once your claim or case has been resolved out of the proceeds of a settlement or jury verdict in your favor. This has been recognized by the Florida Supreme Court in specifically barring defense attorneys from attempting to invade the relationship between an accident victim and his or her physician if the victim’s attorney referred him or her to the healthcare provider. This is only right, as how an accident victim arrived at a particular physician’s door has nothing to do with the severity of the victim’s injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident or the value of the medical treatment provided to an accident victim by a particular healthcare provider.
Contact Us if You Have Been Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident and Are Having Difficulty Finding a Healthcare Provider to Treat Your Injuries
At Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A., our experienced personal injury attorneys have more than 150 years of combined legal experience and many of our firm’s cases stem from motor vehicle accidents in which our clients have suffered catastrophic injuries that may require extensive medical treatment. We also have represented many Floridians who have been injured through no fault of their own in motor vehicle accidents caused by someone else’s negligence who may lack health insurance and/or the resources to pay a healthcare provider out of pocket for treatment rendered for those injuries. Simply because you lack health insurance and you have had the misfortune to be injured as a result of someone else’s negligence and then have trouble finding a physician who would agree to treat you for those injuries does not mean you do not deserve to receive treatment for your injuries. Therefore, contact our experienced attorneys at firstname.lastname@example.org or (877) 694-6079 for a free consultation today if you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Florida.
Copyright: sherryyates / 123RF Stock Photo