If you’ve been injured in a Florida car accident, you probably have some questions regarding the mounting medical bills that seem to just keep building up. You may be asking yourself questions like:
“Who is supposed to pay my medical bills?”
“What role does the other driver’s insurance play in helping me pay my medical bills?”
“How can I get my bills paid without paying out-of-pocket?”
In this article, I will clarify who is responsible for paying mounting medical bills after a car accident and which policies come into play so you don’t have to pay for them out of pocket.
Most of us Floridians are familiar with the term “Florida is a No-Fault State.” But most people don’t understand what the term “No-Fault” actually means.
PIP Insurance Coverage to Cover Medical Bills After a Car Accident
What it means is, regardless of who’s fault the auto accident is, every Florida driver is required to carry no-fault insurance, “PIP” (Personal Injury Protection) insurance coverage. (For everything you need to know on PIP, check out this article from Christian Pipas.)
After your accident, you will make what is called a no-fault injury claim under your PIP coverage. PIP is the first insurance policy that comes into play after an accident and it usually is “on-the-hook” for your first $10,000 (maximum) of your medical bills.
MedPay to Cover Medical Bills After a Car Accident
If you elected for MedPay on your auto insurance, you may also make a claim for your MedPay to pay out to help cover your medical expenses such as deductibles and copays. MedPay is optional, so not everyone has it. Just like PIP, there is no regards to fault when accessing your MedPay. The biggest advantage of MedPay (or at least one of them in my opinion) is that it never makes the insured person pay for deductibles or coinsurance for medical care.
As the name implies, MedPay can only be used for medical payments, therefore a combination of both PIP and MedPay is extremely beneficial for paying medical bills after a car accident.
*** Both PIP and MedPay are considered to be first-party claims. This means that these are claims that you make against your own insurance company.
Using Health Insurance to Cover Medical Bills After a Car Accident
So what happens if you don’t have MedPay and your medical bills exceed the $10,000 maximum covered by PIP?
Then, you (your attorney should help you with all of this) should look to your health insurance. Your health insurance at this point should cover the remainder of your bills.
However, it is a good idea to turn to your health insurance last when looking for help covering medical bills after a car accident because they may look for repayment of that money either from the other driver or from your own insurance coverage.
It is important to remember that if you make a claim against a negligent driver and receive a settlement or jury verdict at trial, then your health insurance company may have the right to reimbursement and they may choose to be paid out of the settlement or verdict.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Another optional insurance coverage, Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage, is another option you could turn to to pay car accident medical bills (if you have it).
As the name implies, this type of insurance provides insurance coverage to yourself for damages caused by another driver who does not have insurance themselves. UM can also aid the other driver’s Bodily Injury coverage should it be insufficient to pay for the losses and damages of the policyholder.
I know all of this is a lot to take in. Talking to insurance companies can be tricky and answering their questions the wrong way can actually be detrimental to your situation and case. If you’re situation is becoming increasingly complicated, you may need to hire a car accident personal injury attorney.
I specialize in working with complex car accident cases and would be happy to help get you the compensation you need to take care of your health and get your life back on track.
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