*Last updated November 6, 2015
One of the most common questions PA car accident victims have is regarding their medical expenses. Below is a question we receive from an injured victim.
Question: I was in a car accident in Pennsylvania, and it was not my fault. I was also injured as a result of the car accident and need medical treatment. Who pays for my medical bills?
Answer: Regardless of who was responsible for the accident, your own car insurance company pays for your medical bills. Under Pennsylvania law, when you buy car insurance, you are required to have at least $5,000 of first party medical coverage or PIP coverage. You can buy more, but $5,000 is the minimum. Of course, if you buy more medical coverage, you will also have a higher premium.
Even if the accident was not your fault, your medical bills will be paid by your own car insurance company. It is important to know that your medical coverage may run out or be "exhausted." When that happens, your car insurance company will send you an "Exhaustion Letter" telling you that all the medical coverage has been used. At that point, your health insurance must start to pay your bills. You will then, of course, have to follow all the rules of your health plan, including using "network providers," paying deductibles and co-pays.
If your injuries are serious and you have minimum PIP coverage, your medical benefits will be exhausted fairly quickly. For example, if your injuries required you to stay in the hospital for 2 weeks and undergo multiple imaging studies, a minimum $5,000 PIP amount would probably be exhausted by the initial hospital treatment. Thereafter, you would need to use your health insurance to pay for your medical bills.
Any co-pays and deductible you pay out of pocket may be recovered in a car accident lawsuit against the at-fault driver. In addition to recovering these expenses, you may also be able to recover other financial damages such as pain and suffering.
If you have more questions about your car accident, feel free to call our office to schedule a FREE consultation. 877.944.8396