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Who Pays for Hospital Treatment After an Accident?

By: Tracy Whitelaw - Updated: 19 Mar 2020 | comments*Discuss
Paying For Hospital Treatment Paying For

If you've been unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident in the UK, you may be unaware of the laws surrounding hospital payments. Most people would assume that since the NHS service is free, there is never any kind of question over making payments to hospitals for treatment after an accident, but that isn't always the case.

Immediate Treatment After an Accident

If you're involved in an accident that requires immediate medical treatment, you may in some circumstances be charged for any emergency work that is provided by a doctor at the scene. This of course doesn't include any doctor who has been called to the scene from a hospital or any ambulance medics. Generally what it means is if a qualified doctor happens to be passing the scene and is off duty, he or she then has the right to charge a standard charge and in some situations a mileage charge.

You may think that this wouldn't happen and that doctors would be happy to help, but it is common for the driver involved in the accident to receive a bill from the doctor at a later date. If you're planning on claiming for damages, then you should include the doctors bill also as the insurance company will generally pay this too.

Further or Ongoing Treatment After an Accident

Most people who receive treatment after an accident in the UK will utilise the resources of the NHS. This of course is generally fee free to those involved, but some individuals may require the use of a private hospital and their treatment needs to be paid for by someone. There are some laws in place to regulate this:

  • Further treatment in an non-NHS hospital – the hospital is entitled to claim from the driver's insurance company up to the amount of £2949 for an in-patient and £295 for an out-patient.
  • The hospital will generally write to the patient to find out the details of the accident, in particular looking for the driver's name, address and insurance details and then they will deal with it from here.

If further treatment is required after an accident and it is carried out at an NHS hospital, the Department of Health do have the right to speak to the insurance company of the driver who was responsible for the accident. They may ask them to cover some costs, but the individual who was the non-responsible party in the accident will never be involved.

Issues of Non-Payment for Treatment After an Accident

If you are involved in an accident and are the responsible driver, or if you're receiving treatment after an accident and weren't responsible, it's important to know where any costs are going to be incurred. If you're unable to pay for treatment and are being asked to, speak to the Citizen's Advice Bureau or a solicitor. They will be able to give you further advice on your particular case. It's ultimately extremely important that you know your rights, have spoken to your insurance company and of course are able to prove what treatment you're receiving. Always try to keep paperwork and take note on treatment dates and costs. This will help you if there are any queries in the future.

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I as a pedistrian was hit by a car, ambulance was called and was treated for dislocated shoulder, conclusion and x ray..Why have I been billed for treatment and ambulance.. Do I pay this or do I send to driver
Andy - 19-Mar-20 @ 4:27 AM
I'm currently seeking treatment, that should end with finalities in the coming month. I've been in on going treatment for a year. I'm not responsible party in the accident. I was riding my bike an got hit by a resident of same locality. I'm having a real hard time finding a lawyer.
isn't a - 25-Sep-19 @ 3:54 AM
Hello, my daughter had her foot run over crossing a quiet side road, the car came speeding round the corner, the driver said she hadn't seen my daughter and stopped and took her to A&E, she gave my daughter her name and phone number so that she could let her know how she was. My daughter suffered a very nasty injury to her foot and was unable to work for some time and was advised to put in a claim.She was asked by the insurance company to phone the driver to get her registration details etc and when she did phone her the driver was very rude and refused to give her the details.What can we do to obtain the registration details.Any help would be very much appreciated. Thank you Tori
Tori - 5-Nov-18 @ 9:38 PM
My son and I were passengers in a minor traffic accident. We went to a and e afterwards to get checked over as he is 2 and I'm 23 weeks pregnant. We were both fine as well as the baby. Should we be expecting a bill?
Fbail - 24-Sep-17 @ 3:20 PM
I've just seen that there is a charge following a RTA, should I refuse treatment then as I am on low income but what happens if I'm unconscious and treated I wouldn't be able to pay. Should I carry a note with me refusing treatment incase this happens? Also what if my children are knocked down? How long would I get to pay the fees?
Lucy - 21-Sep-17 @ 9:54 AM
hi a friend of mine was involved in a minor car accident recently.she is suffering neck and back pain but has been refused treatment at her GP, unless she pays £90 up front. she is not making any personal injury claims. she is claiming from her insurance only the write off of the car. is this correct for them to do this?
ck - 9-Jun-16 @ 12:07 PM
I was recently involved in an accident where the the other party failed to stop. The incident site is covered by Highways agency CCTV. How do I obtain footage from these cameras to assist in the claim against the individual?
Pieman - 19-May-16 @ 12:24 PM
Leelee - Your Question:
I received an ambulance bill after being in a car accident. I was a passenger not the driver. Is this normal

Our Response:
This may have been sent under the Injury Costs Recovery Scheme allows the NHS to recover the cost of treating an injured patient - it's usually used where the injured person is claiming compensation or from an insurance policy.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 17-May-16 @ 1:54 PM
I received an ambulance bill after being in a car accident. I was a passenger not the driver. Is this normal
Leelee - 15-May-16 @ 9:41 AM
DaveyChef - Your Question:
My daughter was in a car accident where she wrote her car off. No other vehicles were involved, an ambulance was called and she was taken to hospital and was in there app 2hr. She was then discharged.She's decided not to use her insurance as the car is a write off and it's not worth claiming as she'd be worse off in the long run.Is she liable for any costs for ambulance & treatment etc??UK citizen who pays nations & tax etc

Our Response:
It is not usual to be charged unless you are visitor from another country. Each hospital/NHS trust may have its own policies on this.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 2-Dec-15 @ 10:32 AM
My daughter was in a car accident where she wrote her car off.No other vehicles were involved, an ambulance was called and she was taken to hospital and was in there app 2hr. She was then discharged. She's decided not to use her insurance as the car is a write off and it's not worth claiming as she'd be worse off in the long run. Is she liable for any costs for ambulance & treatment etc?? UK citizen who pays nations & tax etc
DaveyChef - 30-Nov-15 @ 5:01 PM
hi i got side swiped on motorway by Spanish lorry he signed paper saying he caused accident i took photos of him, both number plates, email was on back lorry tried calling tried emailing in english and spanish i have reg how do i find his insurers any help gratefully accepted ,markhis reg 9348hwg
taffy - 28-May-15 @ 2:10 PM
@cliffybabe55. Did you get the registration number? Did you report it to the police? Were there any other witnesses? Not much information from you sorry, so we're not sure what your question can be.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 23-Mar-15 @ 12:00 PM
My car was hit by a young lady riding scooter, who picked up her scooter then rode off, leaving me with a bill of over five hundred pounds to have my car repaired
cliffybabe55 - 19-Mar-15 @ 8:29 PM
@Fran. An insurance company or the police may be able to trace them.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 17-Mar-15 @ 11:16 AM
Hi someone went into my car in the middle of the night ripping my side mirror off and drove off.The back of their side mirror also came off which I have taken and have notice there are lots of codes and bar codes etc...is it possible to trace a cars reg number and owner with any of this information?? Thanks
Fran - 14-Mar-15 @ 9:03 AM
@Ian. What does your insurance company say? Was it a company coach you were driving? Are they willing to help with legal action? Ask your employer what the options are for additional income. If all that fails a personal injury lawyer should be willing to chase this one for you.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 27-Feb-15 @ 12:06 PM
2 month ago a car lost control and went into the front of the coach I was driving. As iv know knee problem and may have to have surgery I'm off work. I'm only getting ssp witch is not much. My family has to struggle and I may lose my car as it's on finance! Iv spoke with my solisitor and citizen advice and they both say see the other one. What can I do?
Ian - 24-Feb-15 @ 10:11 PM
my son was tailed on a road in which the person slowed down then sped at spped crashing into my sons car then drove off the police said that as no one was hurt they do not get involved the driver sped off without stopping my son has managed to get registration number is there anything he can do
me - 12-Dec-14 @ 5:16 PM
@Frasci. If a driver is involved in an accident they MUST stop and give their name and address to the other parties. If they do not do so at the time then they need to do so at a police station within 24 hours. Because the other driver has not done this, the police may prosecute him/her if traced. They do not have to do this but it is worth your passing on any information to them. They are not legally bound to divulge any names and addresses to you...but they may be willing to provide them to your insurance company.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 8-Dec-14 @ 12:14 PM
I was recently involved in a 3 vehicle accident caused by one vehicle which then left the scene of the accident.After reporting this to the police they said they had no obligation at attend.I have since obtained the Reg Number and CCTV footage which shows the whole incident.I would now like the Police to speak to the driver about leaving the scene.Is this something the Police would do, or can they decline to get involved
frasci - 5-Dec-14 @ 4:05 PM
@Bally. As you have the registration number your insurers may be able to trace the owner or may be able to act via the Motor Insurer's Bureau untraced driver agreement. That way you may manage to retain your no claims bonus.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 30-Oct-14 @ 11:19 AM
A truck has damaged my car last night. The driver was foreign I got his number plate called the police but the police did bit turn up they said because no one was injured. I gave the details to my insurance company this morning they have been unable to trace the driver. I will now lose my no claims bonus and have to pay. The number plate was 3ax 8352. The truck had fashion hindelang on it. Does anyone know how I can try and trace then please
Bally - 27-Oct-14 @ 9:09 PM
@mum. Contact the police with all this information. You may not be able to make an insurance claim without a crime number anyhow.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 18-Sep-14 @ 10:27 AM
my sons car was hit when parked outside home over night. its seriously damaged probably a right off. neighbours see the white van drive off then come back to collect his bumper and other bits from the road. i found a part to the van with a serial number and have a possible make model and year of manufacer but no number plate. (neighbours couldnt see it as street lights switched off between midnight and 5am.) i also have paint from the van in the form of slithers and some other bits i need to find the vehicle as with out there insurance details or proof they are not insured my son is going to have to pay a £400 excess and loose his no claims hes 21 never had a speeding ticket or anything so its so unfair that hes going to loose big time and all he did was park up and go to bed. help please.
mum - 16-Sep-14 @ 12:09 PM
I was a pedestrian hit whilst crossing the road, I was taken to A&E seen by a nurse for assessment then wounds cleaned by a health care assistant before being allowed home. Will there be any charges due, if so what sort of amounts and who would be liable to cover them? I am not planning on claiming for compensation as my injuries are not very bad.
Grunthos - 22-Jun-14 @ 9:53 PM
Hi, I was involved in an incident recently where a truck hit the side of my car and drove off. I didnt get the full registration plate, but I reported it to the Police. Unfortunately the Police said that the licence checks came up with no trace. They cannot take any further action. Please can you advise me if there is anything else I can do. It seems like a lost cause and so unlucky! And I know I am not the only driver who has been through this. But any help you could offer would be great. Thank you John Viney
JV - 22-May-14 @ 2:03 PM
can i use the v888 form to trace the name of a person who is reluctant to give his full name and D.O.B. for a child protection safety check BUT I HAVE THE REGISTRATION NUMBER OF THE CAR HE IS DRIVING SO HE CAN BE CHECK OUT UNDER SARAH'SLAW
ted - 5-Mar-13 @ 12:24 AM
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