Getting into a car accident is a frightening prospect. No matter who caused the accident the first matter of concern is the health of anyone involved. When someone is injured in the accident there is often the question of if those medical bills will be covered by their health insurance or their auto insurance.
The Role of Health Insurance in a Car Accident
If you are in a car accident and must receive immediate treatment it will be covered by your regular health insurance policy. That will get the treatment underway, which is especially important if the injuries sustained are life-threatening. After this initial treatment authorization the health insurance company will usually investigate the accident to determine the cause. Depending on their findings they will likely seek reimbursement for the money paid out in hospital bills. Once this happens it is up to the auto insurance to cover the bills.
The Role of Car Insurance in a Car Accident
As long as you have Personal Injury Protection on your car insurance the car insurance company will be responsible for your medical bills up to $10,000. Once this mark is reached the bill is passed back over to your regular health insurance provider. They will pay any remaining expenses as well as continued care and follow-up appointments. With health insurance you will most likely be responsible for co-payments and deductibles. The PIP coverage is a requirement in some states and other states strongly recommend it when setting up a car insurance policy.
When Would a Health insurance Company Deny Payment?
There is a strong chance that your health insurance provider will refuse to cover medical bills if the injury was sustained during a car accident. They may also deny claims for continuing medical service if they see fit to do so. The best way to handle this is to work with an attorney who can advise you on the best course of action. If the car accident was caused by another person and you sustained injury their insurance will be responsible for your medical bills. This rule does not apply in states with “no fault” car insurance, in which case each driver’s insurance is responsible for its policyholder.
What if I Am a Passenger In a Car Accident?
If you’re simply a passenger in a car accident then the responsibility for your medical bills will go to the driver who was at fault in the accident. It is possible to make a claim to your own insurance company, but keep in mind that your insurance rates will probably increase because of that claim. In the unlikely event that neither driver had auto insurance you can file a claim with your car insurance company. You will also have the option to sue the driver who was at fault in the accident.
The intricacies involved in paying for medical costs resulting from an automobile accident are myriad. The general rule of thumb is that the driver at fault will be responsible for any injuries sustained during the accident. Health insurance rarely comes into play unless the medical bills are over $10,000.