Who will pay for my medical bills after a car crash?
Posted on: Jan 25th, 2014 by Chad Rankin
The payment of medical bills following a car accident in Pennsylvania can be a very complicated issue. There are many potential people or companies that would be responsible for your medical bills. Your own car insurance, the car insurance covering the vehicle you were in at the time of the crash, your health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, workers compensation, the car insurance covering the person who caused the crash, and you could all possibly be responsible to pay for your medical bills.
The possible payors of your medical expenses include:
- Tortfeasor (the person who caused the crash)
- Your Car Insurance
- The Car Insurance covering the car in which you were riding
- Health Insurance
- Workers Compensation
Under Pennsylvania’s “no fault” law, your own car insurance policy will pay for, at least, the first $5,000 of your crash related medical bills regardless of who was at fault. This type of car insurance benefit is called a first party medical benefit. $5,000 is the minimum of this type of benefit that can be purchased in Pennsylvania; however you may have purchased a lot more. If you do not have a car insurance policy, then you may still receive first party medical benefits from another source depending on the facts of your case. For instance, you may be entitled to first party medical benefits from the car you were driving or riding in as a passenger if you do not have your own car insurance. You may even be entitled to first party medical benefits from the person who caused the crash.
If you use all of the first party medical benefits that were available to you, then the next level of payment begins. The person who caused the crash will be responsible for any amount you paid or owe for medical treatment related to the car crash. However, payment from the person who caused the crash does not occur until you settle or win your case. In the meantime, your medical providers will want to be paid for the medical treatment that they provide to you. Usually the next in line to pay for your medical bills is your health insurance. This could be a health insurance policy you have through your employer, your spouse’s employer, a policy purchased under the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, or Medicaid through the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare.
The amount of money that your health insurance company for your crash related medical expenses may be a part of your case against the person who caused the crash. Whether you make these expenses part of your case and whether you would have to pay these medical expenses back to your health insurance company is a very complicated issue that requires an expert personal injury attorney. To make the issue more complicated, the law surrounding these issues is constantly changing. For instance, the United State Supreme Court dealt a blow to people injured in car crashes when they ruled that a health insurance company can recover ALL of the money that they paid for an injured’s persons medical expenses regardless of the facts of the case. US Airways v. McCutchen. The attorneys at RG Injury Law are licensed to practice before the United States Supreme Court if your case requires that level of representation. You will need someone who knows all these laws inside and out to avoid a situation where all of the money in a car crash case goes to the health insurance company.
The rules governing specific medical expense payors like Medicare, Medicare supplements, Medicaid, and workers compensation are different for each category. What they pay, how much they pay, how much they can get from your recovery in a car crash case varies depending on which of these programs paid.
Workers compensation pays medical expenses related to your car crash if you were in the course and scope of your employment at the time of the crash. Course and scope of your employment generally means if you were working or furthering the interests of your employer at the time. This law can become complicated depending on the facts of your case. The attorneys at RG Injury Law have extensive experience in and actively practice both workers compensation and personal injury cases. Hiring a lawyer with knowledge and experience in both types of cases is necessary to make sure you get the most from both your personal injury and workers compensation cases.