After an accident or injury of any kind, the health of those involved is the highest priority. Depending on the severity of the injuries, a long recovery period may be expected. Depending on the circumstances, this can be quite expensive, especially if the recovery involves staying in a hospital.

Unlike a settlement, a recovery period can’t be negotiated, so you brace yourself for the onslaught of medical bills. What now?

How your finances can recover after a hospital visit

After the accident, take the time you need for your injuries to heal. But as soon as you’re able to start tackling the paperwork, go ahead and do so. Staying on top of things will make you feel less overwhelmed later on, which is also important for your health. To make things easier, keep these steps in front of you:

  • Keep good records. Have a clearly labeled folder, or even a box, for bills, medical records, and other documents related to your hospital stay. Be sure to read these documents and not just file them away, because it’ll help you get a picture of what costs you’re looking at. Be aware that your out-of-pocket cost may be substantially less than the cost on the bill, however, once insurance pays their part.
  • Check for errors. Hospitals make mistakes, and this goes for the billing department as well. If there are errors on your hospital bill, then the hospital should take steps to correct them in a timely fashion. Be sure that you were not overcharged for any services, or charged for a service that you didn’t receive.
  • Decide what to negotiate. While errors should be an easy fix, it’s entirely different when the charges are simply excessive. Trying to negotiate with hospitals and insurance companies is a daunting task, but it’s a necessary step to financial recovery. Choose your battles, but don’t let anyone rip you off in the process. It’s especially important during this step to have a skilled attorney on your side.
  • Reach out when you need help. If you’re struggling to make ends meet after an accident, look at your options for financial assistance, and don’t be afraid to take them. The hospital will quite possibly offer a payment plan that works for you. If you still need more assistance, charities and religious organizations often invest time and resources in helping people in these situations.

Note that if you’ve already fallen behind and the bills are in collections, negotiation is still possible. However, you should consult a qualified attorney before speaking with any debt collector. It’s easy to say the wrong thing and accidentally waive some of your rights.

A serious accident can be a terrifying experience, but recovery shouldn’t be. If you’re struggling with medical costs after an accident, let an experienced legal counselor like Katherine help you. To schedule a free consultation, call or email us, or just shoot us a text message. We’ll get you in before you know it!