When a person gets injured in any type of accident, the family is usually left with huge medical bills. One of the biggest and most common questions you get from victims is who will cover my medical bills? When are you supposed to pay your expenses and when does the person who caused the accident pay?
The simple answer to the person that will pay your medical bills after an injury or accident depends on several factors. Different states have different rules for accident injury compensation. Everything comes down to the State where the accident happened, type of accident, and your insurance cover. The costs of accident injuries can be financially devastating. Statistics from the CDC show that vehicle accidents cost the US over 44 billion in medical expenses per year. This is why you need to know who is responsible for your medical bills after accident injuries.
The main rule: You need to cater for all your bills at first without considering the person at fault
As a general rule, you need to pay for your bills after an accident. This can be through private insurance or any other program like Medicaid. You can then later seek for reimbursement from the fault party. This is usually done through injury lawsuit claims for past medical expenses and other anticipated future expenses.
It is worth noting that the insurance company that paid for your bills has rights to seek for reimbursement. However, they can only ask for the exact amount they covered in your bills and not more. Let’s say you got involved in a car accident and went to the hospital for treatment. Your health insurance will cover the bills. You then move on and file a claim to recover compensations for the injuries suffered, medical bills, and emotional trauma. Once you get the compensation from the car insurance, your health insurance provider will rightly want their money back.
It is only in a few States with ‘no fault’ rules that the person who caused the accident does not have to pay for your medical bills. However, you can sue such persons for damages caused which in most cases cover the expenses incurred in seeking treatment.
“No Fault” States: How Auto Medical Bills are Paid
In such states, there are specific rules on how accident injury medical bills are paid. Most of these rules state that the insurer will pay part or all your medical bill in case of car accident whether you were at fault or not. However, there is a limit to what they can pay with most states having an average of $10,000 dollars. When the medical expenses exceed $10, 000, you become responsible for paying the extra. However, you still don’t have to dig into your wallet if you have health insurance or are covered by programs like Medicaid and Medicare.
Non “No Fault” States: How Auto Medical Bills are Paid
If you happen to be involved in a car accident in non ‘no fault’ States, then you will have to pay for your medical bills. However, if you have medical payment insurance coverage, then they will cover part or all your bills. This cover is called Med pay and only pays for medical bills for drivers and passenger involved in the accident. The limit in this type of insurance is usually $10, 000. Once the bills exceed this limit, then you have to pay the extra.
Med Pay is not a requirement, and persons have to decide whether they need one or not. If you don’t have this type of cover, then you’re going to cover the costs of your medical bills.
Should you get injured at work, then you don’t have to pay anything towards your medical bills. The workers’ compensation insurer will cater for all your medical bills in any work-related injury. Laws in almost all States require the compensation insurer to reimburse you any extra expenses spent on tolls, mileage, and parking. All the costs for traveling for medical appointments must also be catered for by the compensation insurer.
Premise liability: Trip or fall
In a slip or fall case, the person injured is usually responsible for the cost of medical bills. It is only in a few instances where the property owner has an insurance policy that covers med pay coverage. When the property owner is covered by med pay, then your medical bills will be covered by the insurer to limits set out in the policy. Once the limits are exceeded, you’re responsible for paying the extra costs.
If you happen to be involved in a boat accident, then you’re going to cover all your medical bills. Boating insurances usually lack med pay policies and persons involved in any boating accident are responsible for all their medical bills.
The worst possible scenario
The worst possible scenario is being involved in an accident and without any insurance coverage or personal injury case. This is usually the case when you’re the cause of the accident, or there is little evidence to show another reason for the accident. In such a case, you have limited options, and you will have to cover for all your medical bills.
If it gets to this and you cannot afford the medical bills, then turn to family and friends for help. You can also try and get the bills covered through bankruptcy.
When involved in any type of accident, always make sure you’re well-informed on who is responsible for your medical bills. However, before engaging in any personal injury claim, make sure you’re treated using your health insurance or money. If you spend your own money on the medical bills, keep the receipts and other documents that show the amount you spend safely. Such documents will help you in a personal injury claim.
When injured in an accident through no fault, never worry about medical bills. The insurance should always cover for the bills as stated in their policies. However, most companies do not pay. Make sure you seek a lawyer’s help to get what you rightfully deserve.