Car accidents are difficult and stressful enough before injuries come into the picture.
If you have been in an accident and are injured, your health and safety should always come first. Car accident-related injuries can have long-lasting effects, so it is critical to receive care as soon as possible and establish a medical record of your injuries.
More people are concerned about paying for medical care than ever. One of the most common questions we receive is whether health insurance covers car accidents in Florida or if auto insurance coverage is supposed to pay for all medical bills. Under Florida law, auto insurance should cover most medical bills, but there are some situations where a party to an accident might use health insurance to pay for an injury.
This helpful overview will provide clear information on what medical bills car insurance covers, when or if health insurance should be used, and how a lawyer can help you get the compensation you are entitled to after an accident.
Does health insurance cover car accidents?
Health insurance does cover car accident-related injuries, but in most cases, it is beneficial to rely on automobile insurance to cover medical expenses. This is especially true in Florida, which mandates personal injury protection (PIP) insurance for all drivers to cover medical expenses.
Who pays first — auto insurance or health insurance?
Auto insurance should always pay first for several reasons. Florida law guarantees 80% of coverage up to $10,000 under personal injury protection. Unlike health insurance, there is no deductible for this coverage, so out-of-pocket costs will generally be less by using PIP coverage. Additionally, if your injuries were due to the fault or negligence of the other driver, you may be entitled to compensation from their auto insurance.
Can you submit medical bills to auto insurance?
Yes. When you contact your car insurance carrier to report the accident, ask for your claim number and the process for submitting and paying for medical bills related to an accident.
Understanding Automobile Medical Coverage Options
Here are the primary types of coverage for injuries offered by auto insurance carriers in Florida.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage and No-Fault Laws
PIP coverage is designed to cover reasonable medical expenses in the event of a car accident. This type of coverage is mandatory under Florida statute 627.736, requiring every motorist to carry $10,000 of PIP insurance to cover up to 80% of all medical bills after an accident. PIP also covers 60% of lost wages for disability and missed time from work and $5,000 in death benefits if there is a fatality.
Medical expenses covered by PIP include:
- Care from a general practitioner or specialist
- Ambulance rides
- Diagnostic imagery and tests, including X-rays or MRI
- Follow-up doctor visits and examinations
- Prescription medications
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
PIP laws and coverage are often referred to as “no-fault” because they are intended to ensure medical coverage regardless of who caused the accident.
Medical Payments Coverage and Liability Coverage
In Florida, medical payments coverage, or Med Pay, is an optional add-on that can help pay for additional medical expenses, including the additional 20% not covered by PIP. Costs for this coverage vary depending on individual carriers and other factors. Med Pay claims should always follow PIP claims.
Additionally, auto insurance carriers offer liability coverage to protect drivers when they are at fault for injuries to the other party exceeding PIP coverage. Coverage amounts and premium costs vary depending on the carrier and policy selected by the driver.
If you have suffered injuries exceeding PIP and Med Pay coverage and the other driver is at fault, you should inquire whether the other party has liability coverage that may cover your additional expenses. This could prevent the need to go out of pocket or use your health insurance.
How a Lawyer Can Help You Receive Medical Compensation
To receive total compensation for any injuries you receive in a car accident, having an experienced car accident lawyer on your side can be crucial. Specialized personal injury and accident attorneys can navigate the complexities of automobile insurance to overcome potential objections and obstacles to your claim. A lawyer will also work with employers and medical providers to ensure all documentation is submitted accurately and promptly to insurance carriers.
PIP coverage, med pay coverage, and even liability coverage are sometimes not enough to cover all medical bills after a car accident in Florida. In some instances, you may have grounds to sue if negligence or reckless driving result in injuries that your or the other party’s insurance is not covering. This can help prevent you from going out of pocket or using your personal health insurance to cover these expenses.
Contact Clark Law Today for a Free Consultation
If you have been injured in a car accident, meet with an experienced personal injury lawyer to protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve. Reach out to Clark Law today for a free consultation on your case. We are an experienced and knowledgeable legal team ready to support you during a difficult time.
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.