How will my medical bills be paid after an automobile accident in Florida?
You may have heard that Florida is a “no-fault” state with regard to automobile accidents. What this means is that all personal automobile insurance policies in Florida carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. PIP coverage usually comes from your own insurance company and the at-fault driver’s insurance company will usually not pay these PIP benefits (with some exceptions as listed below). This coverage will pay the first $10,000 of medical bills at 80% for the injured person whether or not that person was at-fault for the accident, but the injured person must seek medical treatment within 14 days of the automobile accident. In order to qualify for this coverage, you need to be:
(1) the insured on the policy,
(2) a resident relative of someone with PIP coverage,
(3) a passenger in the insured vehicle who does not have insurance, own a car, or live with a resident relative who does, or
(4) a pedestrian/cyclist who does not have insurance, own a car, or live with a resident relative who does.
Qualifying for $2,500 in PIP is the first step. In order to qualify for the entire $10,000 of PIP coverage, you must have a qualifying provider state that you are suffering an “Emergency Medical Condition.” If you purchased Medical Payments (MedPay) coverage (which is optional,) your insurance company would also pay medical bills at 100% up to the MedPay limit.
After PIP, you may be able to have your health insurance pay certain medical bills. If you go to a hospital following an automobile accident, it is extremely important that you provide the hospital staff with not only your automobile insurance information but also your health insurance information. If you are able, you should provide copies of your insurance cards and make sure the hospital staff puts your insurance information in your file. This is true of all doctors’ offices you visit following an automobile accident. For any bills not paid by PIP or health insurance, you would then look to the at-fault driver and their insurance company to pay the remainder of the medical bills. If the at-fault driver did not carry the proper insurance coverage for bodily injury, you could then request that your own insurance company pay the remainder of the medical bills as long as you carried Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM) coverage at the time of the accident.
As you can see, getting your medical bills paid after an automobile accident is not always as straightforward as one may assume. The experienced attorneys at McCulloch can help you navigate the payment of your medical bills following an automobile accident and fight to achieve maximum compensation for you. Should you have any questions about your medical bills following an automobile accident, McCulloch in Tampa, FL offers attorney consultations at no charge to you. Call us today for your free consultation and case review.