How Do I Pay Medical Bills After a Tennessee Car Crash?

doctor holding piggy bankTennessee is an at-fault-state in the event of an auto accident, which means you may only recover damages if you can prove the other party caused your collision.

Since personal injury protection (PIP) coverage is not available in the state, how do you pay for mounting medical expenses after an accident?

Below, Greg Coleman law discusses various options for taking care of medical costs after a car crash. Our trusted Knoxville auto accident lawyers are available to review the merit of your potential case in a free initial car accident consultation. We can also answer your legal questions and help to determine your options for paying medical bills.

Options for Paying Medical Bills

After a car accident, here are some of the options you may have to pay medical bills as they arise:

Health Insurance

The first option to covering your medical costs after a car accident in Tennessee is your own health insurance. This approach can help you to keep on top of bills and avoid costly debt that may negatively impact your credit. If your personal injury claim settles, your health insurance company can then pursue subrogation through the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.

The disadvantage is, of course, that many health insurance plans come with high deductibles that you will have to meet before your coverage kicks in.


If you have purchased some form of MedPay coverage through your own auto insurance policy, this is the next place you may look to for coverage of medical expenses, even deductibles not covered by your health insurance plan. MedPay provides immediate financial assistance to you, regardless who may have caused your accident.

The cons of MedPay is that it will only cover your medical bills up to the purchased limits of your policy, and of course, you will have to repay the money you received after your claim settles.

Medical Provider Lien

If you have no health or MedPay insurance coverage, or you have reached your policy limits, another possibility is to obtain a medical lien from your health care providers. Under this arrangement, you agree to pay the medical provider out of any settlement you receive in the case. Because this option has many serious implications, we recommend that you work with a qualified lawyer who can work to protect your interests.

At-Fault Driver’s Liability Insurance

Since Tennessee is an at-fault insurance state, you will have the option to bring a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, the insurance company will only make payment when the case is finalized, so you may want to explore other options in the interim.

What You May Pay Out of Pocket

Even though you may be able to get some of your medical costs paid, you may still have to pay for certain expenses out of your own pocket.

For example, you may need to cover your health insurance co-pays or deductibles. Additionally, you may need to buy prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines or other items like crutches or wound dressing. Your MedPay coverage may be able to pick up some of these costs.

How Tennessee’s Comparative Negligence Could Affect Your Claim

Under Tennessee’s comparative negligence system, if you are assigned 50 percent or more of the fault for the accident, you will not be able to recover compensation for any of your damages. If you carry less than 50 percent liability, you can still pursue compensation for the damages you sustained. However, your award will be reduced by your percentage of fault.

When to Seek Legal Advice

If you were injured by another driver’s negligence, it may be time to contact one of our reputable attorneys at Greg Coleman Law to assist you. We are ready to fully manage the entire legal process on your behalf, which includes protecting your legal rights, pursuing maximum compensation for your damages, and actively exploring all potential avenues for coverage.

We offer a free consultation to review your potential options for a claim. Additionally, if we represent you, our legal services are paid for out of any settlement or award you receive. This means there are no upfront costs for you, and no payment to us unless we win.

Contact us today to schedule your free case review. (865) 247-0080