Who Pays Your Medical Bills If You Are Injured in a Car Accident?
In 2008 the motorist advocacy group AAA said accidents cost $164.2 billion each year. Much of this cost relates to medical treatment for injuries and lost wages suffered by those injured in motor vehicle accidents. If you were injured in a car accident you should know how your medical bills will get paid.
Massachusetts law requires drivers to carry enough personal injury protection (PIP) to cover the first $2,000 in medical expenses. The expenses beyond this are paid by your own health insurance coverage. However, if you do not have health insurance or if your claim is denied, then PIP will continue to cover up to a total limit of $8,000 for combined medical treatment and lost wages. PIP will of course only pay for medical treatment which is reasonable, necessary and related to injuries arising out of the motor vehicle accident. PIP does not cover motorcycle accidents.
The PIP insurance company responsible is the insurer of the car you were in at the time of the accident. Therefore, both the driver and any passengers are covered by this carrier even if they may have a separate auto insurance policy covering their own motor vehicles. Further, PIP is"no fault" insurance because each driver is covered by their own insurance company even if the accident was his or her fault.
For medical expenses beyond $8,000 many people have the optional medical payment (MedPay) insurance coverage. Insurance companies are required to offer at least $5,000 of MedPay coverage, but there is no requirement to purchase it. MedPay covers health costs after personal injury protection (PIP) coverage has been exhausted. It pays for "reasonable expenses for necessary medical and funeral services incurred as a result of an accident." Those expenses cover the insured as well as anyone occupying his or her vehicle at the time of the car accident.
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident you should immediately consult with an experienced Massachusetts personal injury attorney to determine the coverage available to pay your medical bills.