If you are a victim of a car accident that isn’t your fault, then the at-fault party’s insurance company will be liable for paying for your losses and medical bills. You can file a personal injury lawsuit and demand maximum compensation for your injury and loss, but such processes take time. Thus, you need to determine how to pay for your medical bills right now.
The person responsible for the accident will not pay your medical bills instantly. Moreover, the compensation also depends on your state, the type of accident, and the insurance coverage available.
Read our detailed guide below to thoroughly understand the process and who is responsible for medical bills after an accident.
Who Pays The Medical Bills?
Even if the car accident was not your fault, the liable party is not responsible for paying your medical bills on an ongoing basis. You need to pay the medical bills yourself as they come, aside from situations like if you live in a “no-fault” state, can get workers’ compensation claims, or trigger medical insurance.
These 3 instances mentioned above can help you pay your medical bills through rolling claims until the limit is reached. But aside from these, until the personal injury lawsuit isn’t filed and settled, the liable party doesn’t have to pay your medical bills. Only when the person is found guilty will they be charged with compensation and loss coverage.
Different Kinds Of Coverage
Depending on the type of insurance you have, you need to understand which can be used for paying medical bills and how they interplay, for instance, which policy is primary and which is secondary. Below are listed some common medical insurance coverages in place.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance
In Florida, each driver must have personal injury protection or PIP insurance in place. This insurance is the primary source of coverage and can be utilized to cover medical expenses and lost wages after a car accident. The minimum amount of a PIP insurance is $10,000; this amount is not sufficient and can be quickly exhausted in minor injuries.
The secondary policy for medical expenses is a patient’s own health insurance. After the PIP insurance limit has been exceeded, hospitals will charge your medical insurance to cover the fees. Depending on the state, some hospitals will first contact health insurance companies and then seek reimbursement from your PIP insurance company.
The health insurance may be state-provided or through a private insurer. The insurers can recover the money after the agreed settlement.
Personal Payment Arrangement
If you have no significant insurance policy in place, hospitals will work with patients to develop a payment plan. Some hospitals also accept medical credit cards that enable you to pay off the debt reasonably.
Some hospitals also offer hardship arrangements for patients who meet specific requirements or are financially unable to pay for expensive medical bills. Through this arrangement, medical providers can lower the amount owed to the hospital.
Who Pays Medical Bills After A Car Accident In A No-Fault And At-Fault State
How quickly your medical bills are paid and who pays them is often dependent on if the car accident took place in a no-fault or fault state. Let’s see the difference.
In no-fault states like Florida, you have to pay for your medical bills despite who was at fault for the car accident. Your automobile insurance company will pay for the damage and medical expenses until a certain limit is reached. After the auto insurance has been exceeded, the patient’s health insurance, state-provided or private, is responsible for the medical expenses. After that, the patient has to arrange payment or work out a solution with the hospital for the incoming medical bills.
You can also file a personal injury lawsuit if the medical expenses exceed a limit, but as stated above, such processes take time, and you still have to arrange payment.
When you get into a car accident, you are responsible for your medical bills in an at-fault state. You can use your insurance policies, such as med pay or PIP insurance, to pay for your damages and injuries, but the amount is usually less than $10,000. After your bill exceeds these policies, you are responsible for arranging the payments for medical expenses.
How To Assess Auto Liability After A Car Accident
There are different car accident liability rules in each state. Let’s talk about Florida, a no-fault state. Each driver is responsible for paying for their own loss and medical expenses if the overall damage is under $10,000, covered by PIP insurance. But if the damage exceeds this limit, the person can file a personal injury lawsuit, and the driver at fault will be liable.
Auto liability assessment is carried out by conducting a thorough investigation of negligence behavior to determine which driver is at fault. For instance, was the driver texting while driving, were they driving above the seat limit, and had they maintained the proper distance between two cars, etc.
Moreover, if more than one person was at fault for the car accident, the compensation will be divided. Thus, it’s best to consult car accident lawyers to gather evidence and benefit from maximum compensation.
How To Obtain Compensation For Medical Bills After An Accident
The first thing you need to do after a car accident is hire a professional car accident lawyer to help you navigate the situation, gather evidence, and negotiate a maximum settlement for your losses and injuries. In a car accident, lawyers help you with:
- Car accident lawyers offer a free-of-charge initial consultation where you can discuss the accident, the factors involved, and how you want to proceed. Lawyers are aware of the ins and outs of the industry and can help you provide the best course of action.
- Lawyers help gather solid evidence, witness statements, and visual proof to solidify your case and make sure you get maximum compensation.
- The requested settlement is forwarded to the liable party, and they try to get compensated without taking the matter further, such as going to a trial.
Even if you have to pay for your medical bills, it is still best to consult a professional car accident lawyer, like Pompano Beach Car Accident Lawyers to understand your options and how you can get out of this situation without losing a lot of money. They will provide experienced representation to you and your loved ones that have been hurt in a car accident. We hope this article helped!
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