If you were in a car accident caused by another person, you may have suffered catastrophic injuries. You may have needed immediate medical attention after the accident, as well as continued medical treatments, surgeries, prescriptions, or even physical therapy. As the decisions are made regarding liability and responsibility regarding your accident, the medical bills are piling up. You may wonder if your health insurance should pay your medical bills after a car wreck. You may also feel like the insurance company for the person who caused the wreck should pay your medical bills. The following is a brief guide explaining how to determine who will pay for your medical bills following a car accident.
The Short Answer
It depends on what state in which your car wreck occurred.
Missouri: If you were injured in Missouri, your health insurance is the primary source to pay for your medical bills. Additionally, check your Missouri car insurance policy to see if you have optional Medical Payments offers medical payment coverage, this coverage will pay your doctor bills and any medical treatments necessary after a car accident.
Kansas: However, if you were injured in Kansas, then you are required to submit your medical bills through PIP or Personal Injury Protection of your own auto insurance policy. The PIP policy typically covers up to $4,500 of medical costs. Then, after your PIP is exhausted, your health insurance becomes the primary source to pay for your medical bills.
Doesn’t the Insurance Company for the Negligent Driver Pay My Medical Bills?
If you suffered injuries in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, the other driver is ultimately responsible for your damages and any bills suffered due to the accident, such as medical bills, lost time from work, funeral expenses, etc. However, the negligent driver’s insurance company will typically not pay physicians and medical providers directly, or even reimburse a victim after every doctor’s visit. Instead, after all, medical treatment has finished, and you have been completely discharged by all doctors regarding your medical conditions, your attorney will negotiate a settlement with the negligent driver’s insurance company. This process could last months or even years before you reach what is known as the “maximum medical improvement” where you are not expected to get any better regarding your condition, or you have been fully restored to health.
Coordination of Medical Payments
If you have a personal health insurance policy, it is likely you will submit your medical bills to them following a car accident. If you do not have any health insurance, oftentimes there are medical professionals who will treat accident victims and defer their bills under settlements that occur with the negligent driver’s insurance company. Make sure to visit with a doctor prior to being treated to determine if this is their policy.
It is important to remember that when you do settle with the negligent driver’s insurance company, a portion of that money will likely need to go to your medical providers or to reimburse your insurance company for their payments toward your medical expenses. Therefore, the settlement money that you receive will not entirely go into your pocket but will be used to repay your health insurance company for the bills that they paid for your medical treatment following a car accident.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If you were injured in a car accident, the coordination of payment of your medical expenses can be challenging. Contact an experienced car accident attorney at Griggs Injury Law at (816) 474-0202 to help you through this process, and get the compensation to which you are entitled.