So, you have been in a car crash that was not your fault and now the medical bills are piling up. The pressing question is: “Who is responsible to pay for them?”
Under Pennsylvania law, when a person buys auto insurance, the auto insurance company is required to offer and provide you with at least $5,000 of medical insurance. This is sometimes referred to as “first party benefits”. Although more items are included in first party benefits; this is the most significant. The point is, when you buy auto insurance, you have to have a minimum of $5,000 of medical bills coverage. That is the law.
Unfortunately, the $5,000 required minimum for medical bills has not been increased in many, many years by the state legislature. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that a few trips to the hospital, or just one trip if the injuries are significant, could well exceed $5,000 in medical bills. So, when you buy auto insurance, you should give serious consideration to buying more than $5,000 in first party medical benefits coverage.
Whatever your medical bills coverage is with your auto insurance carrier, if and when that is exhausted, you will then have to go elsewhere for coverage. Typically, after your auto insurance company has paid out up to its limit of coverage in medial bills, you will then begin submitting your medical bills to your health insurance company, as you normally would, if there had been no car crash.
Keep in mind, if and when your own health insurance company pays your health care bills for treatment following and as a result of an auto collision, they may want to be paid back if you get any money from the other driver and/or from the other driver’s auto insurance company. This legal right to be paid back is called “subrogation.” That said, there is often a question as to whether, under the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law, your health insurance company has a right to be paid back, because sometimes they may not legally seek to be reimbursed from any money you may get from the party who was responsible for the accident.
Ultimately, any medical bills other than the ones paid by your own auto insurance company are the responsibility of the driver who caused the crash in the first place. If they will not pay the bills voluntarily, as is sometimes the case, then court action is needed to make them honor their legal responsibilities and obligations.
Working through all of the issues relating to who pays what, who gets paid back, and all of the other issues is something a skilled Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer will be able to help you with. Feel free to contact the injury lawyers at Trinity Law for help at www.YourLawFirmForLife.com. We’ve helped injury victims in Lancaster County, York County and in multiple additional counties of Southeastern Pennsylvania for over 30 years.