Updated August 2020
The person that caused my injuries pays for my medical bills, right? Well, that makes sense, but in personal injury cases, that’s not what happens.
How Medical Bills Are Paid After a Car Accident
In-car accident cases (and all other kinds of “vehicular accidents” like bus accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian accidents), your own insurance pays your medical bills. So, let’s say you are in a car accident. Part of what you paid for when you bought auto insurance was medical coverage. Your auto carrier, therefore, pays your medical bills (or at least a portion of them, up until the amount you purchased on your policy with the minimum being $5,000). That’s even true if you are, for instance, a passenger on a Septa bus that’s in an accident. If you have auto insurance, it’s your own auto carrier that pays your bills.
What Should You Do When You See a Doctor Or Go To a Hospital After An Accident?
After any kind of vehicular accident, you’ll need to give the doctor or the hospital both your auto insurance information and your health insurance information. Under Pennsylvania laws, particularly 75 PA C.S.A. Section 1797, the medical provider is required to submit the bills to whatever insurance you have. Auto insurance is primary in any kind of vehicular accident, and health insurance is secondary. That means once your auto insurance carrier “exhausts” or pays out the maximum amount of medical coverage you purchased on your auto policy (usually $5,000), your health insurance will then be billed moving forward for any additional treatment related to your accident.
Who Pays My Medical Bills Following a Car Accident?
When you go for doctor visits, make sure your bills are being paid. Ask the medical provider’s staff if they are properly submitting bills for payment, and get a copy of your billing statement. You are entitled to that. In the past, we have had clients who thought that because Carpey Law was handling their personal injury case, they no longer had to be concerned about their medical bills. But medical providers are like any other business that you have contracted to for service. They expect to be paid after they provide the service. In our experience, medical providers aren’t too forgiving about that either. While we will certainly help you get your medical bills paid by your auto or health insurance carriers, we can’t do much if your doctors aren’t submitting their bills properly. It is your responsibility to ensure that your doctors are submitting your bills properly for payment.
Also, make sure to tell us about all the doctors you are seeing in relation to your case. If you do not tell us, we have no way of finding out. So if you receive bills in the mail, say from and ambulance company, or from the X-ray facility at the hospital, make sure we get a copy of that bill. That way we can also make those bills part of the personal injury claim when we present everything to the at-fault party’s insurance carrier.