If you have been injured in a car accident, chances are, you are going to need some medical attention for your injuries. However, medical treatment and care can oftentimes come along with a hefty price tag. In fact, according to the Insurance Research Council’s report, on average, approximately $15,000 are claimed for bodily injuries. This amount only stands to increase, in the event that a victim is suffering from extremely severe injuries, such as a spinal cord or traumatic brain injury. Seemingly overnight, an individual’s medical bills can reach hundreds of thousands, if not more. A common misconception that follows is, “if I was not at fault for the accident, I can wait to pay the medical bills.” Some may be under the pretense that if they were not at fault for the accident, they do not have to pay at all. However, this is not always the case. Failing to make appropriate payments to medical providers may lead to financial and credit challenges in the future. This is what you need to know about unpaid bills and your credit score.
What Repercussions May I Face, If My Medical Bills Remain Unpaid?
The repercussions that an individual faces for failing to pay medical bills can vary. Generally, an overdue medical is referred to a collection agency, which may lead to a notation being made with the credit-reporting bureaus. If this happens, your credit score may be severely damaged. Moreover, here are a few other consequences you may face if your medical bills were to remain unpaid:
- Legal judgments entered against you.
- Wage garnishments.
- Liens on your property.
- Filing for bankruptcy.
It should be noted that individuals who collect Social Security and veterans’ benefits cannot be garnished for medical debt. However, their work income may be garnished.
Ways To Minimize The Impact Of Medical Bills On Your Credit Score
A poor credit score can adversely affect your quality of life in more ways than one. Those applying for a loan, renting an apartment, or, in some scenarios, applying for a job, might be negatively impacted by a low credit score. In the United States, an individual’s credit score is frequently used to determine whether a loan will be approved and the interest rate. To help keep you in the best financial standing possible, these are a few ways to minimize medical bills’ impact on your credit score:
- Do not prioritize medical debt over other kinds of debt. While this may not be applicable to everyone, if you have other forms of debt, those should take priority. Moreover, a National Consumer Law Center report explained that choosing to pay off your medical bill instead of your mortgage or car loan will end up destroying your credit score much more than not paying off your medical bill.
- Do not swap medical debt for other types of debt. Medical debt may be disputed with the help of insurance agencies and an experienced lawyer. Avoid taking out a high-interest credit line or an additional credit card, in an attempt to pay off your medical debt.
- Keep negotiating. Through continued negotiation, you may find that you received an incorrect charge or you might be able to get additional fees resolved.
One of the most effective means of avoiding the consequences of unpaid medical bills is promptly enlisting the assistance of an experienced and dedicated personal injury attorney San Diego. With an expert attorney guiding you through this windy road, unnecessary financial stress and struggles will be lifted off of your shoulders.