When you have been injured in an accident and someone else was at-fault, it can be very confusing when it comes to whose insurance covers the bills associated with your recovery. It seems reasonable to assume that the at-fault driver’s insurance should incur these costs. And, this might be the case; but there are multiple layers to paying medical care providers and addressing vehicle repairs or any other item that is associated with your recovery, especially during the claims process that is ahead of you.
Medical payments insurance or “medpay” is insurance that most people have to help pay for emergency or short-term treatment after an auto accident. This is part of your auto insurance policy unless you have waived it – which must be done in writing. It will often cover a visit to the ER with an ambulance ride, perhaps some physical therapy. But the average medical bill from a moderate or serious auto accident usually exceeds $10,000.
When you have been involved in an accident and have medpay, you have access to these funds, but there may very well be and usually are limits to this coverage. If this applies to you, you will also need to rely on your personal health insurance. If you do not have health insurance coverage, you should purchase insurance or see if you qualify for Medicaid of the Colorado Indigent Care Program to assist with your future doctor visits and recovery.
Personal Health Insurance and the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance
If you are an auto accident victim, it is logical that you would object to using your own insurance when there is no reason to doubt the other driver’s fault. However, the other driver’s insurance will never pay a dime without getting a release of all claims. This means that treatment and bills always precede the settlement. For many, this is a bitter pill to swallow. Even those who understand and accept the way our system works find themselves struggling with bills, collection notices, and threatened cutoffs of treatment before they see any money. The widely held belief that the system is rigged in favor of accident victims is myth.
Experienced attorneys have several solutions to problems like these. First, we have lists of providers, usually physical therapists or chiropractors, who will agree to withhold billing until settlement. We can also arrange for financing of health care through third party financial intermediaries. We can also make sure that all insurance avenues are covered. For example, your own car insurance might limit you to $5,000, but you may have been the passenger in a car owned by someone who has $100,000 of medical payment insurance for each passenger and never have known it.
If you’re struggling to pay your bills after an accident, an attorney can help move your claim forward and offer assistance in the meantime. Call McDivitt Law Firm for a FREE consultation. Our experienced Colorado auto accident attorneys are ready to help you.