UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Car accidents are a billion-dollar business in the United States. Healthcare, as you might have guessed, is even more lucrative. Because of the expenses involved, if you are ever injured in a car accident, the first thing you might worry about is who will pay for your medical bills. The answer to this question is multi-faceted and can depend on a number of factors including who was involved in the accident, where the accident occurred, who is at fault, and the extent of the injuries. Below, we hope to clear up some of these questions so that you will know not only who pays for medical bills, but also how much auto insurance coverage you will need so that you don’t have to pay for these bills out of pocket.
Liability Coverage for Medical Bills
Liability coverage will cover damage to the other party if you are involved in an accident. If you are injured in an accident and are not at fault, chances are that the other party’s liability insurance will pay for your medical bills. The part of liability insurance that will cover your medical expenses is known at bodily injury liability coverage.
Within bodily injury liability coverage, there are limits as to how much can be paid out. For example, if the limit per person in an accident is $30,000 and the medical bills surpass $60,000 for that person, the at-fault party would be responsible for the remaining $30,000. For this reason, it’s always better to have high limits when it comes to bodily injury coverage. Medical expenses can be outrageous, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
What if nobody is deemed to be “at fault” in the accident? Will insurance cover anything? Or will you be on the hook to pay for all bills out of pocket? We will explore this topic in detail below.
Injured in a No-Fault State
If you are injured in a car accident, who pays for your medical bills depends on whether you are in a “no-fault” state or not. No-fault insurance means that your car insurance pays for your medical bills regardless of who is at fault in an accident. Even if the accident is clearly the other guy’s fault, your auto insurance policy will still cover your hospital bills if you live in a no-fault state. In some of these states, however, there is a limit to how much money your insurance company will pay. This limit varies from state to state, but usually, it is $10,000 maximum.
After reaching this max limit ($10,000), you will be responsible for the remainder of your medical bills. If you have health insurance, which you should if you plan on driving a vehicle, your health insurance will kick in and pay for the rest of these bills (depending on your health plan). If you do not have your own health insurance policy and are not on Medicaid, Medicare, or any other government program, you will be responsible for the rest of the bill out of pocket.
Medical bills, as we all know, can add up extremely fast. If you do not want to end up in debt up to your eyeballs, you should always be properly insured, whether it comes to health insurance or auto insurance.
Injured in a Non-No-Fault State
If you get into an accident and are injured in a state that is not a “no-fault state”, you might need to pay for your medical expenses out of pocket. One way to get around this is to have medical payments coverage (or med pay coverage). This insurance coverage, which is usually available as an add-on to your current auto insurance policy, will pay for all medical bills resulting from an accident up to a certain amount, usually $10,000. Once your medical bills surpass this $10,000 amount, you or your health insurance will be responsible for paying the remainder.
Final Word on Car Accident Related Medical Bills
Generally speaking, once your car insurance’s medical payments coverage limits are reached, you or your health insurance company will have to pay for the remainder of the medical bills. This is why it is always better to have more coverage than you need, than the other way around. If you think that getting auto insurance coverage with high limits is unaffordable, think again! By using car insurance quote comparison engines, like 4AutoInsuranceQuote, you will be able to find more than adequate coverage at a price you anyone can afford.