How Your Medical Bills are Paid After a Car Accident

If you were injured in a car accident, you may have received immediate emergency medical care and may also need ongoing treatment. Medical attention and necessary treatments cannot be put off after an accident, but few of us can afford to pay for this kind of care out-of-pocket.

Even if your health insurance will pay, the deductible and co-pays can be very expensive, and it may not cover all of the treatments you need. However, depending on your state and the type of car insurance you have purchased, there are several ways in which your medical bills can be paid.

Car Insurance

In many situations, you will first turn to your own insurance company for payment.

“No-fault” states require Personal Injury Protection (PIP) to be included in your auto insurance. In the remaining states you have the options of purchasing it. PIP typically pays up to 80% of your medical expenses and other expenses, such as travel for medical care, but only up to policy limits, which may be $10,000 or less. PIP covers you no matter who was at fault for your accident.

Med Pay is another type of coverage you may have purchased. It is also a no-fault coverage, so it pays even if you caused your own accident. It only pays for medical bills, but it can cover deductibles and copays that may apply when using PIP. Med Pay can cover your medical expenses that exceed the limit of your PIP, if you have both. Like PIP, Med Pay pays only up to your policy limit.

If your medical bills exceed your policy limits, and you were not at-fault or (in some states) you were only partly to blame for your accident, you can seek compensation from the other driver’s insurance company by suing the other driver.

If the other driver was not insured, you can turn to your uninsured/underinsured driver coverage, if you have purchased it with your own auto insurance.

Getting the Billing Right

If you have been injured in a car accident, you need to tell your doctor or the hospital because it will affect how they handle the billing, and can save you a lot of problems down the road.

Talk to an experienced auto accident attorney, who will know the laws in your state and will review your insurance coverage, to determine who should be billed and whether you should use your health insurance. You should also notify your car insurance company and your health insurance company of the situation right away.

Avatar About Sandra Dalton

With a background as a paralegal, focusing on criminal defense and civil rights, Sandra Dalton launched her freelance writing career in 2000 with a weekly column on Freedom for Suite 101 and pro bono projects for individuals and organizations supporting causes close to her heart. One of her first projects was for the Police Compliant Center writing about police misconduct. Sandra’s legal writing quickly expanded to include personal injury, animal welfare, criminal defense, disability discrimination, family law and much more.