If you’ve been involved in a personal injury accident, you need to understand who will cover damages and expenses. Sometimes, this isn’t always clear, especially in personal injury cases when medical attention is often required before a settlement can be reached.
To understand who is truly responsible for the medical bills relating to a specific case, it’s helpful to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. He can provide you with information about the many factors involved in reaching a settlement. Here is a brief look at some of the ways you can get coverage for medical expenses following a car accident:
- Through health insurance
- Through medical payment insurance
- Through car insurance
- Through workers’ compensation insurance (if the accident occurred on the job)
- Through car accident settlement loans
When immediate medical attention is necessary, your health insurance provider will often cover part or all of certain medical bills—regardless of who is at fault. This is because the process of receiving a settlement can be lengthy, and you are likely to need treatment before the funds are available. Thus, health insurance providers are often the first payment sources for victims of personal injury accidents.
Medical Payment Insurance
Medical payment insurance (or “med-pay”) is purchased under auto insurance packages and can be used to cover medical costs for accidents, up to the coverage limit. Individuals with med-pay coverage are entitled to coverage regardless of whether they were walking, biking, or driving when the accident occurred.
The Other Driver’s Car Insurance
The auto insurance provider for an at-fault party is responsible for covering medical expenses, up to coverage limits, for any injuries that resulted from a vehicle accident. However, these matters often take time to settle, leaving the injured party to look elsewhere for medical coverage until the funds are available. The auto insurer may be responsible for some, all, or none of your medical expenses depending on:
- Who is at fault. Perhaps the most important factor in a personal injury settlement is establishing who is at fault in the incident. The answer isn’t always straightforward, as both parties may be considered partially at fault. However, the least at-fault individual is often entitled to more options than the at-fault party.
- Coverage limits. The other party’s insurer will only pay up to the coverage amount. This can vary depending on the type of coverage that individual has.
- Legal red tape. If there is any doubt about who is at fault, the other driver’s auto insurer may attempt to derail your argument to reduce the amount it has to pay—especially if a large amount of money is involved in the settlement.
- Whether you’ve agreed to a premature settlement. It can take a long time to reach a settlement. Due to financial necessity, misinformation, or lack of patience, some may choose to settle early in a negotiation. This can cause victims of personal injury accidents to lose money in the long run, especially if medical complications or new medical issues related to the accident develop. Once a case is settled, the amount an insurer is required to pay can no longer change.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
If you were on the clock and performing work-related duties when the accident occurred, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance may also be responsible for covering medical expenses.
Car Accident Settlement Loans
As a last resort, victims of personal injury accidents may apply for car accident settlement loans to cover medical costs until a settlement is reached.
Personal injury accidents tend to be complex in nature and require significant attention to detail, so that money and potential damages are not lost. If you have recently received injuries from a car accident, you may benefit from legal counsel with the experienced personal injury attorneys at Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi. Contact us at 877-652-1553 to discuss your situation. If you found this blog helpful, share it with your friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.