Who Pays For Physical Therapy After A Car Accident?

You didn’t ask to be in a car accident. Now you’re dealing with the aftermath—arguing with the insurance company, missing work due to injuries and doctor’s appointments, and possibly facing the inability to afford treatment. We help clients with these concerns every day in our practice, and we can help you as well.

If your car accident or slip and fall required a surgery, most likely you will need some form of physical therapy after a car accident and surgery. If you do not have health insurance, or if you have a high deductible, you may not be able to afford physical therapy. This conundrum presents numerous problems. First, your full recovery depends upon physical therapy. You won’t fully heal from the surgery without it. Second, if you have a personal injury claim, you deserve to not only be treated but also to have that treatment paid for by whoever caused the injury.

Physical Therapy On A Lien Basis

In North Carolina, there is a lien statute which relates to medical treatment provided in conjunction with a personal injury. While the language of the statute requires legal interpretation, it generally boils down to the fact that your medical providers (including your health insurance company) can place a lien against your injury proceeds. Your lawyer has an ethical obligation to obtain lien amounts and address them in your settlement. The upside of this rule is that quite often, you can find a physical therapist to treat you on a “lien basis”. This means the therapist will treat you and simply agree that they will wait to get paid until you reach a settlement.

You’ll Need An Attorney Letter Of Protection

If you find a physical therapist or chiropractor willing to work on a lien basis, they will most likely want to see a copy of your police report, and receive a letter from your personal injury lawyer indicating the lawyer represents you, and that the lawyer is protecting their lien in the personal injury settlement. This letter can be quickly drafted and faxed or emailed to the medical provider, so that treatment can begin or continue.

When Do You Pay For The Physical Therapy After A Car Accident?

Once you reach a settlement, your attorney will work with the physical therapist to negotiate their bill, if possible. The lien statute referenced above (NCGS 44-49 and 44-50) place limitations on the amount you must pay the medical provider from your settlement proceeds, and this will be a necessary component of the negotiation. Your personal injury lawyer will handle this for you and communicate with you regarding where every dollar of your settlement will go.

How Much Of My Settlement Will I Receive?

The answer to this depends of course on a few factors. First, how high your outstanding medical bills and liens are. Second, how much you receive at settlement. Lastly, the application of the NC lien statute to the settlement proceeds and liens will largely determine the amount which will go back to you from your settlement proceeds. Your attorney will address each of these concerns with you as your case progresses and you will have ultimate authority to settle the claim or refuse the offer of settlement. It’s your attorney’s job to help you understand how each decision affects you.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you would like to speak with an attorney about your personal injury case, we’re here to help. The call is free and you will come away with a much better understanding of your options. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click to request a FREE CASE EVALUATION, and we will be in touch shortly.

Further Reading

If this article was helpful, you may find other helpful articles on our Personal Injury Blog. Thank you for visiting the website—we hope it has been helpful.