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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 expenses.

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.

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Disclaimer: The Laguna Niguel personal injury, wrongful death, automobile accident, slip and fall, train accident, aviation accident, construction accident, big rig accident, uninsured motorists, products liability, premises liability, civil rights, swimming pool accident, insurance bad faith, pedestrian accident, boating accident, motorcycle accident or other legal personal injury information set forth in this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results portrayed here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case. Please contact a personal injury attorney or insurance claim attorney at our Laguna Niguel law firm office in Orange County. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of California.