Car accidents are rarely expected.
They happen out of nowhere, leaving the victims confused and unsure of what to do next.
The accident is even harder to come to terms with if it was due to someone else's negligence.
If you were hurt in an accident that was someone else's fault, one of the first questions you ask yourself is, "Who's going to pay for my medical bills?"
Getting a personal injury settlement is excellent. Getting a favorable verdict if your claim actually makes it to trial is just as good.
But, those events happen long after your car accident. They don't help you pay any of your bills right away.
In the article below, we will talk about how your medical bills get paid as you incur them.
To put it simply, it depends on your accident, where you live, and the types of insurance that are involved.
Continue reading to find out more.
Table of Contents
- The Defendant Doesn't Have To Pay Your Bills on an Ongoing Basis
- No-Fault State
- At-Fault State
- Your Insurer Is Entitled To Reimbursement
- Contact A Personal Injury Attorney
The Defendant Doesn't Have To Pay Your Bills On An Ongoing Basis
A general rule of thumb is that the person responsible for your injuries will not have to pay your medical bills o an ongoing basis.
When you get into an accident, you are usually responsible for paying your medical bills as you receive them.
The only exception is usually car accidents that happen in "no-fault" states. We'll talk more about that below.
Accidents involving med-pay insurance coverage can also be exceptions.
Even if there is no doubt that the other person was clearly at fault, most laws do not require them to pay your medical bills on an ongoing basis.
The law does require that, if the other person is indeed found to be at fault, he or she must pay your damages.
In personal injury cases, medical bills are usually a significant part of those damages.
But, that payment usually comes long after the car accident when you are finished all of your medical treatments and fully recovered from the accident.
The defendant won't have to pay the medical bills as they come in.
When you're injured in a car accident, the payment of your medical bills often depends on whether the accident happens in a no-fault state.
No-fault car insurance means that your auto insurer will pay some or all of your medical bills when you're in a car accident regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
Each no-fault insurance plan will have limits with their no-fault coverage.
If your medical bills exceed that state's no-fault limit, you are responsible for paying them.
If you have health insurance, that will kick in and pay your medical bills.
If you are Medicare or a state-run health insurance program through Medicaid, they will pay your medical bills.
If you don't have health insurance and you are no on a state-run program, then you will have to work out payment arrangements with your healthcare providers.
If your medical bills happen to exceed a certain amount, or if your injuries qualify as serious, you'll be able to step outside of the no-fault system. Then you will be able to file a traditional liability claim against the at-fault driver.
This process usually takes a long time to resolve, so you will still need to make arrangements to have your medical bills paid as they come in.
If you are involved in a car accident in an at-fault state, you will usually be responsible for paying your medical bills as you receive them.
However, some drivers in at-fault states have med-pay coverage. Med-pay will pay the medical bills of drivers or passengers involved in a car accident with the insured, up to the insured's med-pay policy limits.
These limits are generally less than $10,000.
If your bills exceed the med-pay policy limits, you will be responsible for paying them.
Med-pay coverage isn't always a requirement, so if you or the person at fault for the accident doesn't have med-pay coverage, you will be responsible for paying the bills.
Your Insurer Is Entitled To Reimbursement
If a health insurer or a state-run agency pays the medical bills related to your accident, they are entitled to reimbursement.
If you eventually receive a personal injury settlement or a favorable court verdict against the defendant, they will be reimbursed for what they paid.
So, for example, let's say you receive a settlement of $10,000.
If your insurance company paid $4,000 for your medical bills, they would be reimbursed that $4,000 from your settlement, leaving you with $6,000.
Contact A Personal Injury Attorney
Every car accident and personal injury case will be different.
Coordinating your medical payments involves strategy and knowledge of the law.
To make sure you receive the compensation you deserve, and you don't pay any more out of pocket than you have to, you should speak to a personal injury attorney.
An experienced personal injury attorney will walk you through the entire process so you can worry about your health instead of your medical bills.
The team at Car Wreck Doctor works with highly qualified and experienced personal injury attorneys that can help you get your medical bills paid.
They also work with car accident doctors, so they can help you recover financially as well.
To speak with the team at Car Wreck Doctor, click the button below.