Car accidents are scary, traumatic, and potentially life-changing. After a serious crash, you should be focused on restoring your physical and mental health. However, many people struggle to pay their medical bills and stay above water financially.
So, how do you pay your medical bills after a car accident in Montana?
Marty Judnich, experienced Montana accident and injury attorney, is here to answer that question and many more.
Montana car accident facts
- While serious car accidents in Montana are trending downwards, there are still nearly 1,000 serious accidents on our roads every year
- Car crashes cause nearly $1 TRILLION in damages every year
- About 1 in 100 people will die as a result of a car accident
- About 1 in 4 cars is not insured
There’s good news!
If your crash occurred in Montana, state law says the driver responsible for the crash owes the victim for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- You may be entitled to partial payment immediately
Most other states allow the responsible driver and their insurance company to wait until the very end of a claim and then pay everything all at once. Injured people often wait months or even years to get the money they need. All the while, they’re spending out of pocket and may be missing work and losing out on earnings.
The bills don’t stop and you can’t get back to work.
Fortunately, Montana is a unique state in that our laws allow a crash victim to collect for lost wages and medical bills immediately after they are incurred. In Montana, victims don’t have to wait months and years to obtain these payments from the insurance company.
Different insurance policy coverages mean and do different things, so here are some basics.
Do you have Medical Payment (Med Pay) coverage?
In some states, all drivers must carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage as part of their auto insurance. PIP is designed to pay for “reasonable and necessary” medical care following an accident, no matter who was at fault. Even if you caused the accident, PIP will pay for your treatment and care.
In Montana we call PIP coverage, medical payment coverage or Med Pay for short. Drivers are not required by law to carry Med Pay coverage, but all auto insurers offer it as an option. Review your coverage or talk to your agent for more information. Med Pay coverage means bills are paid right away, even if the crash was not your fault.
Getting some bills Advance Paid without Med Pay
Because Med Pay is optional, some people don’t have it, or don’t have enough coverage to pay for all their medical bills. This gets lots of people in financial trouble, or causes them to end medical treatment too early.
But don’t worry, there is hope.
Montana is extremely rare in that when fault is clear, the responsible driver’s auto insurance must advance pay medical bills and some other out-of-pocket losses in advance of any settlement. That means, instead of waiting for months and years to settle the whole claim, an experienced attorney can force the insurance company to pay for some bills you have incurred, prior to the total settlement.
We call this an advance payment, or Ridley payment. Several things must be checked off before an insurance company is going to pay these bills, but an experienced insurance attorney can get this unique payment arrangement done for you so that you don’t have to worry about bills piling up while you are still treating your injuries and waiting to settle your claims in full.
How to get what you’re owed
Usually, only a very experienced personal injury attorney — like those at the Judnich Law Office — can help accident victims get the payments they’re owed before a full settlement is reached.
Our accident injury attorneys are familiar with these special Montana injury laws and have successfully represented many car accident victims and can do the same for you or someone you love.
The Judnich Law Office can help
The accident injury team at the Judnich Law Office has successfully obtained lost wage and medical bill payments. We fight the insurance companies to help our clients get the money they deserve as fast as possible.
You shouldn’t have to wait months or years for these payments. We know the laws and procedures to obtain these payments for our clients so they can quickly pay their rent, bills, medications, and other life necessities after they have been the victim of a serious crash.
Contact the Judnich Law Office today
Let’s talk about your case.
Contact us online or call (406) 721-3354 to schedule your free and confidential consultation. We are here to help and are happy to discuss your injury case. We’ll see if we might be able to help you obtain lost wages and payment for medical bills.
Marty is a former criminal prosecutor in the Cascade County Attorney’s Office and now uses that experience to defend those accused of crimes. A University of Montana School of Law graduate, Marty focuses his practice on personal injury and criminal defense and is a premier DUI defense attorney. He is also well versed in the insurance claims industry and has negotiated significant settlements with nearly every major insurance company.