Who Pays for Physical Therapy After a Car Accident?

Physical therapist helping a patient lift a weight during a therapy session.

Car accidents result in injuries of all types – from muscle and tendon strains to broken bones to head and back injuries – and sometimes even worse. Victims with muscle and joint injuries often seek medical assistance from physical therapists who help them by guiding them through strengthening exercises. This can be especially helpful with shoulder, knee, ankle, or wrist sprains and strains. But who pays for this physical therapy after a car accident?

In the Carolinas, all drivers are required to purchase bodily injury liability coverage which can pay for the medical expenses of the victims of car accidents. In general, the at-fault driver’s insurance should reimburse you for reasonable medical expenses related to the accident, up to the amount of the policy limits. But it remains your responsibility to pay your own medical bills in a timely manner.

Unfortunately, some drivers do not carry this required insurance. And sometimes, the at-fault driver’s insurance is not enough to cover your medical expenses. Here is an article about your options when insurance policy limits only cover part of your damages. Oftentimes, you must rely on your own insurance to cover your medical expenses. Learn more about how various types of insurance coverage work together after an automobile collision in NC.

In practice, the at-fault driver’s insurance company usually waits until a personal injury case is settled before reimbursing any medical bills related to the accident. Victims often have to file claims with their own insurance to pay their medical bills in a timely manner and then wait until their cases are settled to receive reimbursement.

Who Pays for Physical Therapy after a Car Accident if You Don’t Have Health Insurance?

If you are injured in a car accident and do not have insurance, you can still seek medical care. Many physical therapists will work with you on a lien basis, which gives them a financial claim to the compensation that you may receive from your personal injury case.

It has been my experience that physical therapists may be more inclined to treat you on a lien basis when an attorney is involved. An attorney can also help you negotiate with the lien holder and try, for example, to reduce out-of-pocket expenses to you if the settlement does not cover expenses fully.

This type of payment arrangement gives the physical therapist the security of knowing that they will be reimbursed for medical care provided at the end of the case from any settlement or award. They will usually work with injured victims on a “no cash out-of-pocket basis” which means they will provide you the physical therapy without requiring payment at the time of the treatment.

I encourage you to seek the physical therapy you may need after an accident. Obtaining medical care immediately, as well as on a consistent basis, can affect the outcome of your case. Our experience shows that, if you’re injured and don’t seek medical care soon after your accident, some insurance companies may try to use it against you when you make a claim. Your health is important, and proper treatment can make the difference between a short-term and long-term health issue, (and possible compensation).

I also urge you to call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 or contact us online for a free case evaluation. We work on a contingency fee basis which means there is no attorney’s fee unless we get you compensation.2 Let us help you.

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About the Author

Michael Jordan is an attorney at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin in North Carolina and has been practicing law for more than 20 years. Mike assists clients with their personal injury, workers’ compensation, eminent domain, products liability, medical malpractice, mass tort, and other cases. He’s a member of the American Association for Justice and the North Carolina Advocates for Justice (NCAJ), where he serves on the Legal Affairs Committee after previously serving on the Board of Governors. The NCAJ has recognized Mike’s active participation, service, and commitment by awarding him the “Order of Service” award most years since the award’s inception.

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