Who Will Pay My Medical Bills?
One of the first things we do when we evaluate a personal injury case is to
help our client determine what sources are available for payment of their medical
While the liability claim, such as the claim against the driver who was at
fault in an automobile accident, may eventually cover the medical expenses,
there are oftentimes other insurance policies available which will pay the medical
expenses immediately, without regard to who was at fault, and in addition to
the recovery on the liability claim.
If you were injured in an automobile accident, many automobile policies include
medical payments coverage often referred to as "med-pay." This coverage
will pay your medical expenses right now without any concern for who was at
fault in the accident. Your own automobile policy may provide for "med-pay"
benefits. Additionally, if you were a passenger or driving someone else's car,
the driver or owner's policy may provide "med-pay benefits."
Next, your own health insurance policy will usually provide coverage for medical
expenses incurred as a result of an accident.
Many people are concerned about using their own insurance when the accident
was someone else's fault. First, the payment of your medical expenses, by the
insurance you bought and paid for, generally won't reduce your claim against
the liable third party. Secondly, using your own health insurance or med-pay
coverage will not, in most cases, cause your insurance rates to increase, as
long as the accident was not your fault.
Some auto and health insurance policies do provide that the company is entitled
to reimbursement if and when you settle your case against the responsible driver
or other party. This is called "subrogation" and depends largely upon
the terms of your own policy.
If you fall and are injured on someone else's property, there's a good chance
that they will have liability insurance and, in addition, medical payments coverage
which will pay your medical expenses, without a determination of fault or liability.
There are a variety of other sources of payment of medical expenses, each of
which applies to a specific situation.
As lawyers, we deal every day with insurance policies, what is covered or not
covered, and how to best get the expenses paid for our clients.