Who pays the medical bills in a car accident? For those injured through no fault of their own, it can be difficult to understand where the money is coming from.
If you’re wondering how medical bills are paid after a car accident, let Sunshine State Law Firm shed some light on a confusing situation.
You’re driving home from work one day when a pickup truck runs a red light and plows into your sedan at 80 mph. A bystander calls an ambulance, where they diagnose you with whiplash and a broken wrist.
But in addition to worrying about whether your body will ever feel the same afterwards, you also have a pile of hospital, physical therapy, and prescription bills that all need to be paid. You don’t have any extra funds set aside.
What do you do?
Car accident injuries are some of the most extreme injuries most people will ever receive. A car’s size and speed make any traffic collision a cause for worry.
In this article, we’ll discuss how medical bills are paid after a car accident and how you can be sure you receive enough to cover them completely.
Florida’s No-Fault Laws
You may have heard that Florida is a “No-Fault” state in regards to auto insurance. But what does this mean?
On the one hand, no-fault laws can help you recover damages quickly after an accident, since you don’t have to prove who was responsible for the accident. But these laws also make it difficult to win a car insurance lawsuit and collect additional compensation.
Under Florida’s no-fault insurance laws, all licensed drivers are required to carry a minimum of $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, on their auto insurance policies. Most PIP policies carry a deductible of up to $1,000.
In the event that you are injured in a car accident, PIP will cover 80% of accident-related medical bills, 60% of lost wages due to your injuries, and $5,000 in death benefits (if the accident caused a fatality).
For example, if you were rendered unconscious after an auto accident and had to be taken to the hospital for a collapsed lung and several broken bones, you would have to pay your $1,000 deductible, plus 20% of the hospital bill.
Depending on the medical treatment you received, this could range from hundreds to hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you only carry the minimum amount of PIP coverage, it likely won’t be enough to cover your medical costs.
Further, can you afford to pay extra medical bills while only collecting 60% of your paycheck?
Medical Payment Coverage
Another option you may have is medical payment coverage, also known as Med-Pay.
While Med-Pay doesn’t cover lost wages or provide death benefits, it does cover 100% of your medical care, so you pay nothing out-of-pocket.
There are, however, a few downsides.
Car insurance medical payments coverage is optional. If you didn’t add this coverage to your policy and were subsequently injured in a car accident, you would only be able to access coverage through your PIP (and would be responsible for your deductible and appropriate co-pays).
Even the best car insurance companies will only cover your injuries up to the limit on your policy. But what if your injuries exceed that? Does health insurance cover car accidents?
In most cases, yes. Once you have exhausted the limits on your auto insurance policy, you would then need to turn to your health insurance policy for the remaining coverage.
When Insurance Falls Short
Your auto and health insurance policies are extremely helpful at taking care of your medical bills following an auto accident, but they aren’t always enough to compensate you for a serious injury.
PIP, Med-Pay, and health insurance are all designed to ensure that your doctors get paid, not you. Typically, your medical providers will bill your auto or health insurance company directly to receive payment for their services after you pay for the deductible and co-pay (if applicable).
Insurance reassures your doctors that they will be paid, but what about you?
Following a car wreck, your insurance coverage will be limited to a certain dollar amount, but your medical costs may exceed it. In addition to deductibles and 20% of your medical costs, you will likely face lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and other losses and damages directly resulting from your injuries.
In Florida in 2020, there isn’t a health insurance or car insurance company that offers coverage for non-medical losses. But these can often be more emotionally taxing than an injury.
Filing an Auto Accident Claim
Insurance policies are rarely enough to cover the entirety of your medical treatment and lost wages, and most car accident victims suffer from losses far beyond a doctor’s abilities.
Filing a car accident claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company is the best way to get reimbursed for the full extent of your injuries.
And if you were found to be at-fault, it is even more crucial that you hire an auto accident lawyer.
At Sunshine State Law Firm, our auto accident lawyers have the knowledge and experience necessary to investigate and win your claim so that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Don’t lose any more sleep worrying how your medical bills will be paid after a car accident. Call Sunshine State Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation.