Will Unpaid Medical Bills from an Accident Impact Your Credit?

Any serious accident involves uncertainty. Victims wonder if they will recover from their injuries, if they’ll be able to go back to work, and if they’ll receive enough compensation to cover their medical expenses and property damage. Thanks to a recent settlement reached with major American credit reporting agencies, accident victims will be able to worry less about whether temporarily unpaid medical bills will damage their credit.

Injuries caused by auto and other accidents often require a great deal of costly medical care. If the accident was caused by the carelessness of another person, the victim should be able to have his or her medical bills paid for by the insurance company of the person who caused the accident. In many cases, however, the time between the accident and the date of payment can span months or even years. Even if a claim is settled without having to go to trial, the insurance claims process can be lengthy. While the victim is waiting for compensation, his or her medical bills remain unpaid, which can have a negative impact on credit ratings.

An effort to change how the credit rating industry deals with unpaid medical debts by the attorney general of New York, Eric T. Schneiderman, resulted in a March 2015 settlement with Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, the nation’s three largest credit reporting corporations. Under the terms of the settlement, the agencies will now wait 180 days before reporting medical bills on credit reports. Furthermore, any debt that is later paid by insurance will be removed from the report.

This settlement is certainly a step in the right direction. A poor credit rating can adversely impact one’s chances of obtaining a credit card, renting a house or apartment, leasing a car, or even getting a job.

Although the recent changes will help in a great number of cases, an experienced attorney will still work on their client’s behalf by communicating the status of a case to medical providers, who may be willing to defer billing until the case is resolved. The attorneys of Murphy & Garner, LLC, have over 32 years of experience serving clients in western Georgia and the surrounding area. We will fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today for a free consultation at 866-942-0552 or 678-563-1584.

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Stephen E. Garner
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