Getting Your Medical Bills Paid
Auto Accident Claim Details
You file a car accident injury claim if someone smashed into you and injured you, or if you crashed your car and were injured. Here is the strange part, almost always your own car insurance company will pay your medical providers.
Your company pays first – even if you were not at fault in the accident. Now begins one of the most confusing parts of car accident injury claims. Determining which insurance company will pay has a lot to do with what state you are from and what insurance you signed up for when you started your policy.
If You Have Personal Injury Protection
Personal Injury Protection, (PIP), is the name of the coverage which pays for your injuries after a car accident, it is something we sign up for when we start our car insurance policies. In order to figure out if you have Personal Injury Protection, start with a call to your insurance company. They can tell you in this first call if you have medical coverage for your injuries. PIP is like having health insurance, even if you don’t normally have any regular health insurance coverage. With PIP, as long as the treatments are medically appropriate for your condition, you do not need to pick “in network” providers as with regular health insurance. You can see whomever you prefer.
Remember, it does not matter here who was at fault in your accident, if the other driver was at fault they, or their insurance, will be required to pay your insurance company back.
- Opening a car accident injury claim will NOT raise your insurance rates if you were not at fault.
- This insurance is medical coverage you have been paying for as part of your normal premium.
- PIP pays for your medical bills after an accident, regardless of who is at fault in the accident
- In Washington State, PIP coverage provides the minimum benefits of up to $10,000 for reasonable and necessary medical expenses for each individual injured in an auto accident. This is available for up to three years from the date of the accident. (Some insurance companies provides PIP up to 35,000 in Washington State)
- PIP covers the person who is named on the policy, but often also covers household residents related by blood, marriage or adoption, and step- or foster children. It also covers non-family passengers and pedestrians involved in the accident.
If You Do Not Have PIP
If you didn’t sign up for PIP when you bought your insurance and if the accident was someone else’s fault, your medical costs will still be their responsibility. There are three options for your auto accident injury claim:
Option One: We bill your health insurance. Unfortunately, you will be responsible for out of pocket expenses, all deductibles and co-pays come out of your pocket. Your number of the visits covered by your own health insurance is limited, so check with your HR department or insurance company directly. KEEP TRACK of these expenses, because you will ask for reimbursement from the at fault driver. Many times, you are responsible to pay back to your own health insurance company once the claim is settled.
Option Two: We will send their bills to the at fault drivers insurance, or called the third party insurance. However, the at fault drivers insurance is not obligated to pay your medical providers until the time of settlement. This means that we will ask you either to have an attorney guarantee their payments, or we will file a lien to make sure we receive payment when you settle.
Option Three: If you do not have health insurance then we will ask you to have an attorney or they will file a lien.
If the Other Driver Does Not Have Insurance
This section will also apply if you were hit by a hit and run driver. If you have PIP coverage, your medical treatments will go through your insurance. (See above for details).
If you do not have PIP, you may have Underinsured Motorist coverage. Underinsured motorist will cover your medical expenses and other car accident expenses if the other driver is uninsured or you were injured in a hit and run. Simply call your own insurance to find out.
The worst case scenario: you don’t have PIP or underinsured coverage and the other driver does not have auto insurance coverage, and if you do not have health insurance, your only option is to consider suing the at fault driver personally for your expenses. At this point, please see an attorney to find out if this is an option.