Anyone injured in a car accident will be facing significant medical bills, which may not be completely covered by health insurance. Some health policies have large deductibles or limits on care, so it is helpful to know your options for paying medical bills. Even if you have injury coverage as part of your auto insurance, insurance companies are well known for denying even valid claims, and it may be necessary to have an attorney who can make an aggressive case on your behalf for payment.
Will My Car Insurance Cover My Medical Expenses?
If you were injured in an auto accident, your insurance company will only pay for your medical expenses if you have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) as part of your coverage. PIP coverage is automatically included in auto insurance, unless you specifically reject it in writing. The minimum PIP coverage amount for medical expenses is $10,000 for any bills incurred within three years from the date of the accident, and valid expenses are 100% covered with no deductible.
The problem for many injured motorists with PIP coverage is that their insurer may challenge whether the expenses are reasonable and necessary. If they deny your claim you will have to take additional action, or rely on the other driver’s insurance coverage if they were the cause of the accident.
If Another Driver Caused the Accident, Will Their Insurer Be Responsible?
If another driver was at fault in your accident, their liability insurance coverage should cover your medical expenses. However, the minimum legal coverage is $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident, which may not be enough to pay your actual medical bills if you were seriously injured. Further, their insurance company can always deny the amount or necessity of your claim in an effort to escape their payment obligation.
If the other driver was uninsured, then your only option is your own uninsured motorist coverage, which is a claim subject to your policy limits and willingness or your insurer to pay the claim. However, insurance is not the only way to be compensated for your injuries.
If Insurance Won’t Pay Any of My Medical Bills, What are My Legal Options?
While it can be demoralizing to realize that your medical expenses may not be covered by any insurance, there are still legal options available to you. Even if a driver at fault did not have insurance, you can file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages of all types, including medical care and lost income from work.
A lawsuit can also be an effective way to force the insurers of negligent drivers to pay rightful claims, since they are now exposed to the risk of a court judgment. An attorney can help you negotiate settlement amounts with insurers, and will demonstrate your seriousness in seeking recovery for your injuries. You don’t need to allow a negligent driver to escape responsibility for your injuries, and if you have questions about how to pursue compensation please contact us for a consultation.