Who Pays Medical Bills In Virginia Car Accidents?
If you’ve ever been in an accident, you know that sometimes it can be a little unclear who pays the bills in an accident. Here, we’ll explore the options.
Sorting out who pays for medical bills depends on who caused the accident, and the coverage limits of insurance. Health insurance policies play an important role in paying for auto accidents, though auto insurance also covers medical bills. Auto insurance is typically broken up into four types: liability, collision, comprehensive, and medical payment. However, collision and comprehensive only cover damage to your vehicle. This article explains how your personal health insurance policy, liability insurance, and medical payment insurance can help to pay medical bills when you are injured in an auto accident.
Why should my health insurance pay if I was not at fault?
When you are injured in a car accident it can take some time before your auto insurance company establishes the amount it owes you. However, medical treatment cannot wait; neither can medical bills. This is where health insurance comes in. Typically, if you have a primary health insurance policy it will pay the costs of medical bills as soon as you meet the deductible and coverage eligibility. This varies depending on the individual plan, but in many cases you can use your health insurance to pay medical bills so that your doctor does not have a collection agency pursue payment for unpaid bills. In accidents with serious injuries health insurance may only cover a portion of the bills.
What is Med-Pay coverage on my auto policy?
Auto insurance policies allow individuals to purchases medical payment coverage, often called med pay. Med Pay covers the cost of medical bills for any auto related accidents up to the coverage limits regardless of whether you were walking, biking, or in a car as the driver or passenger. Med pay also pays regardless whether you caused the accident or not. Coverage limits vary, and many people do not elect to purchase this insurance if they have comprehensive health insurance.
Med pay requires that the insurer pay for medical bills, up to the coverage limits, even if the medical bills have been paid for by another way. This means that if you have a $5,000 med pay coverage limit and your health insurance already paid for the entire accident, your insurance company would still have to give you $5,000. The insurance company also cannot request this amount back even if you receive a favorable judgment against the at-fault driver.
Does the driver who was at-fault have to pay anything?
The insurance company for the driver that caused the accident is also responsible to pay for your medical bills up to coverage limits. In Virginia an insurance company only needs to pay for medical bills from liability coverage when a driver is at fault. The at-fault driver with insurance will have at least $25,000 available to use towards bodily injury claims, which include medical bills. This is because Virginia law requires that all drivers purchase minimum limits $25,000 for bodily injury or death of each person, up to $50,000 for multiple persons. However, the driver may have more insurance depending on the amount of coverage they elected to buy and whether anyone in their household has auto insurance policies.
As mentioned in a previous article, if the at-fault driver was underinsured your own insurance could make up the difference in paying for medical bills. Other factors will go into how much your case may really be worth.
Our Attorneys Can Help Get You Compensation for Vehicle Accident Medical Bills
Insurance law can be complex, having expensive medical bills makes these situations worse. Let the experts handle the hassle of collecting medical payments for you. Call a Richmond car accident lawyer at Christina Pendleton & Associates at (804) 554-4444 to receive your free consultation today.