If you’ve been injured in a crash, there are plenty of options available to you. Below, you’ll find details on who pays for medical bills after a car accident.
The other driver’s insurance company
If another driver’s negligence caused your crash-related injuries, their insurance company would be responsible for paying your medical costs. This payment would typically be through a settlement offer. However, receiving a fair settlement isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Many insurance companies offer lowball settlements that could cover only a fraction of your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. That’s why you’ll need an experienced car accident attorney to handle the negotiation process for you.
Additionally, the negligence laws in your state could determine how much money you’re eligible for. These include:
- Pure comparative negligence: Under this rule, each party involved in a collision is assigned a percentage of fault. Even if you are found primarily responsible for the accident, you can still recover damages. However, the amount will be reduced by your percentage of fault. This rule applies in 12 states.
- Modified comparative negligence (50% Bar Rule): In this rule, you can only recover damages if you are less than 50% at fault for your crash. However, any fault you contributed will affect your compensation. This rule applies in only 10 states.
- Modified comparative negligence (51% Bar Rule): This is similar to the 50% Bar Rule, but with a slightly higher threshold. You can only recover damages if you are less than 51% at fault for a car accident. Like the other types of comparative negligence, your percentage of fault will be deducted from your total compensation. This is the most common negligence law and applies in 23 states.
- Contributory negligence: In some states, any degree of fault on your part can completely bar you from recovering any damages. Even if you are only 1% at fault, you may be unable to recover compensation. This rule only applies in Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
If you have health insurance, you can use it to cover medical expenses resulting from a car accident. However, it's important to understand the specific terms and coverage of your health insurance policy.
You should also consider any deductibles or copayments. Depending on what type of health insurance plan you have, it may not cover all of your medical expenses.
Before exploring this option, ensure you have a clear understanding of your health insurance coverage and how it applies to car accident-related medical bills. Review your policy and consult with your insurance provider.
Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is a type of insurance coverage that can help pay for medical bills and other crash-related expenses. It’s mandatory in 12 states and optional in others. PIP is designed to provide efficient access to medical treatment and financial support for car accident injuries, regardless of who is at fault.
You can use it to cover hospital bills, doctor visits, surgeries, medications, and rehabilitation costs. It may also cover lost wages, funeral expenses, and other related damages. But that depends on your policy and state requirements.
To use PIP, you’ll need to provide documentation of your medical treatment, including bills and records. Your insurance company will evaluate the claim and process the payment directly, up to the policy limit. Specific details and coverage limits can vary depending on your insurance policy. Before pursuing a claim, speak to a car accident lawyer who can help you further explore your options.
Medical payments (MedPay) insurance
MedPay is a type of insurance coverage that helps pay for crash-related medical expenses. It’s an optional add-on to your auto insurance policy and provides immediate coverage for medical bills, regardless of who is at fault.
MedPay typically covers hospital visits, doctor's fees, ambulance services, surgery, and other medical treatments. It can also help to cover deductibles and co-pays that your health insurance may not cover.
Check if you have MedPay coverage included in your car insurance policy. If you do, take note of the coverage limits and any specific requirements or restrictions.
Your uninsured/underinsured motorist protection
Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage provides financial protection if you’re involved in a crash with an uninsured or underinsured driver. This type of coverage also applies to hit-and-runs if the at-fault driver is never identified.
UM/UIM covers medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and other costs accrued from a car accident. If your state doesn’t require it, it’s recommended that you add it to your car insurance policy.
Like any other car accident claim, it’s best to seek the help of an experienced attorney. Even your own insurance company will use tactics to reduce their payout. An attorney can handle all communications with them and negotiate for a fair settlement.