Auto Insurance PIP Covers Emergency Treatment Up To $10,000
Florida is considered a “no fault” insurance state. This doesn’t mean that there wasn’t anyone at fault in the car accident. It actually means that you have to go through your own insurance first before seeking compensation somewhere else.
All drivers in Florida are legally required to carry personal injury protection of at least $10,000. This insurance covers the costs of any medical bills you acquired because of your car accident, whether you’re at fault or not. If you’re worried about the cost it might be for going to the doctor or even the hospital, you have help. The vehicle insurance that you have can cover up to 80% of your medical bills, up to $10,000 because of your Personal Injury Protection (PIP). It is even illegal for your insurance company to raise your rate because of a PIP claim. PIP can even help with loss of income because of your injures from the accident, disability or rehab costs, and death benefits with are paid to your family in case you pass because of the motor vehicle accident. Also, if you have a high deductible with your auto insurance, then PIP can help with that as well.
There is also something called Bodily Injury Liability Coverage that can help as well. This isn’t something that is required in the state of Florida, unless you have had a DUI in the past. With this, you can have $10,000 per person and up to $20,000 per accident. There is also Property Damage Liability Insurance. Under the insured driver, if they are responsible for the accident then it can help cover the other driver’s expenses.
Use Health Insurance if You Have It
Whether you have private health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid, make sure you use it. Personal injury protection only pays up to 80%, even less if you weren’t seriously injured, then you’re only entitling you to $2,500 in benefits. Your health insurance can help with more of the payment. Your health insurance prefers that you use as much of your PIP insurance as you can, then go to your health insurance.
There are only a few issues with using your health insurance. First, keep track of what medical providers are being paid with your health insurance. Second, if there is a personal injury claim, your insurance company can place a lien (a right to keep possession of property belonging to another person until the debt owed by that person is discharged) on any settlement you receive. Third, your medical provider might not want to use your health insurance. Fourth, the treatment you require might not be covered under your health insurance. Fifth, you might not even have health insurance that will cover your medical bills until after your settlement.
If using Medicare or Medicaid, these federal programs can help as well. They can help pay for things dealing with your accident, but you might be asked for reimbursement for some, if not all of the costs.
If you were working at the time of the accident, you might be able to get workman’s compensation. Workman’s comp is required to pay all your medical bills which includes deductibles, co-pays, and any transportation expenses while going to and from your doctors’ appointments.
There is also MedPay. Medpay is Medical Payment Insurance Coverage that is an optional benefit to help cover accident costs. This can cover the co-pay that your PIP requires, which sometimes is up to $2000. Depending on the coverage you opt for, you may be able to use Medpay for any costs that your personal injury protection doesn’t cover.
Contact a Florida Personal Attorney to Assist You with Obtaining Medical Treatment After a Car Accident
After being in a car accident, you should always go through your personal injury protection first. Afterwards, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver’s insurance, if there is another driver. They are the ones that usually pay medical bills after an accident, but it isn’t the person that caused the accident, it is their insurance company. For this, you’ll need an attorney.
Dealing with insurance companies can be difficult on your own. They will do everything they can to avoid paying the full amount your injuries are amounted to. Having an attorney by your side while you recover from the accident gives you a better chance at getting what you deserve.
Unfortunately, some drivers don’t have insurance at all. This is when you need an attorney to get you compensation from your own insurance company. Recent data shows that 1 out of 5 Florida drivers are driving without car insurance. If they are willing to do that illegally, then they are also more likely to disobey traffic laws. If this happens, you might be able to receive more from your own insurance company than your PIP allows. Having uninsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) makes this process easier, but an attorney can still help either way.
While waiting for your case to settle, you can also seek out litigation financing, also known as a lawsuit loan. This can help pay for medical bills after a car accident until you win your settlement and then can repay your loan with interest. A lawyer can help you answer any questions regarding this situation as well as give you any information on options that you can get for financial aid.
If you’re involved in an accident and you don’t have insurance, many medical providers will give you the ability to make an agreement called a Letter of Protection (LoP). This agreement means that if you recover any money in a settlement that you will pay your provider. This letter is sent by your attorney on your behalf to your medial provider. If the patient doesn’t receive a favorable recovery, then the patient might still have to pay for the services that they received.
The reason that Letters of Protection are used is because of the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) that is provided by car insurance. Without a LoP, a doctor might require upfront payment or even refuse to provide treatment without the assurance that they will be paid.
Third-party medical financing is also known as patient financing. This system allows healthcare providers to receive fast payment while the patient arranges a payment plan through a third party. These types of companies provide easy ways to make payments to these providers. If a patient signs up for this, they are more likely to pay in full because the payment plans are flexible and affordable.
Proceeds from the Settlement
When your case goes through court and your attorney helps you win the case, where does the settlement money go? To start with, the money you receive pays the attorney you used and any fees you accrued with them. The price depends on the lawyer, but that was discussed when you signed up with them.
Afterwards, the medical bills are paid; that will take the bigger chunk depending on how many doctors you needed to see and if there were any surgeries. The attorney will negotiate the medical bills with the providers on your behalf so that’s one less thing to worry about while you recuperate.
If there is anything remaining from the settlement, it goes to you.
Medical Bills After the Case is Settled and Closed
After everything is said and done, sometimes there are times that you still have to pay medical bills. After the case is closed and has been settled, you may still have to see doctors for something that was caused by the accident. You have one shot at getting what you need out of an accident claim: there’s no going back later. Unfortunately, you need to estimate the amount you should get from the settlement not just now, but in the future which isn’t easy. After the settlement is closed, you have to turn to other sources to help with those medical bills.
Your health insurance will be your “go to” after your case is closed. This is when the standard rules of your insurance applies such as having to pay your deductible first or visiting certain doctors that fall under your health insurance. Some chiropractic treatments or massage treatments may not be covered. If you have Medicaid or Medicare, that also may help with future medical bills.
If you have been injured in an auto accident and need legal assistance from an attorney to help in Panama City and the surrounding areas, contact The Tabbaa Firm for a consultation.
(Updated Sept 2023)