If you are injured in an auto accident and need medical treatment, who pays your bills? In short, it depends on how you were injured, where you live, whether you were working at the time, and whether you have personal health insurance.
No-fault coverage through your own insurer pays your medical bills regardless of which party is at fault. There are three main types of no-fault coverage that typically apply, workers’ compensation coverage, no-fault auto insurance and medical payments coverage.
No-Fault Auto Insurance
The following states require no-fault auto accident insurance. No-fault auto insurance covers expenses up to a certain threshold. In the case of serious injury, plaintiffs can make a claim against the 3rd party as well.
If you were injured on the job, workers’ compensation insurance usually pays for your medical bills. However, not all states require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
If you were injured as a result of a third-party’s negligence, the workers’ comp insurance company will recoup its costs from the at-fault party.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Medical Payments Coverage (MedPay)
PIP and MedPay are types of insurance that cover medical expenses while you recover from your injuries. Much like no-fault, this insurance also covers your expenses, regardless of who is at fault.
MedPay is optional in most states. PIP however is required in many states:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
Personal Health Insurance
If none of the above apply, your personal health insurance will foot the bill for your injuries. You might be responsible for copays and some other expenses while your case settles.
At the end of your case, your health insurance is repaid from the proceeds of your settlement.
Letter of Protection
If you do not qualify for any no-fault coverage and you do not have any sort of health insurance, your attorney can sometimes issue a letter of protection to medical providers. This means that your attorney is basically guaranteeing medical providers repayment from your settlement if your case is successful.
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