Who pays for medical care after a car accident?
If you’ve been involved in a car accident and you needed medical care, you might already know that the bills can pile up quickly. Even a trip to the emergency room with paramedics will probably cost a substantial amount of money. Further treatments could send medical bills skyrocketing. Who pays those? The truth is that this depends on the circumstantial factors of each accident. Here’s a quick look at some of the parties that might be responsible for covering your medical costs:
Your Own Car Insurance Provider
If you opted to have medical payments coverage, your health insurer may require you to exhaust that coverage before it will start paying your medical bills. Medical payments coverage is payable regardless of fault, and it’s ordinarily available in amounts ranging from $1,000 to $25,000. With medical payments insurance, there are no deductibles.
Your Health Insurance
Your health insurance should take over after you’ve reached your policy limit on your medical payments coverage. Depending on your policy, you may have deductibles and copays.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance
Regardless of the laws that require a driver to be covered by liability insurance, some drivers just don’t have it. Other drivers only carry the minimum amount of insurance required by law. That’s what uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance are for. In most states, the coverage is optional, but it’s highly recommended.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that about 12 percent of all drivers are uninsured. In some states, that percentage is significantly higher. If you are injured through the fault of an uninsured driver, your own insurance company becomes your opponent. If your damages exceed the amount of an underinsured driver’s liability policy, you can proceed against your own insurance company after you’ve exhausted his or her liability policy limit.
The Other Driver
Although you’re primarily responsible for any and all reasonable and necessary medical bills that you incurred as a result of an accident, you have the right to pursue having the other driver held liable for your damages. Those damages would include:
● Past medical bills and medical bills reasonably certain to be incurred in the future
● Past lost earnings and earnings reasonably certain to be lost in the future
● Any permanent disability
● Any permanent disfigurement
● Pain and suffering
The law gives healthcare providers lien rights on any proceeds that might be derived through a settlement or verdict. When you or your personal injury lawyer receive a notice regarding a lien from a doctor or hospital, the law requires that you repay the debt owed once you’ve received your settlement money. Any other balances that you would owe on your medical bills that liens have not been claimed on can be paid from the damages amount that you settle for or the verdict that you are awarded.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you don’t have to worry about paying those mounting medical bills out of your own pocket. Contact a lawyer like a car accident lawyer Phoenix AZ trusts to discuss whether you may be eligible for injury compensation.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Alex & Saavedra PC for their insight into personal injury cases.