Will My Car Insurance Pay My Medical Bills After an Accident?
New York is a no-fault state, which means that each driver’s own insurance pays for their accident-related medical care up to the policy’s stated limits.
In some cases, it’s possible to seek compensation from the other driver’s insurance as well– for example, in cases where the injured party suffers long-term disability resulting from the accident.
Paying for your medical care after a car wreck
Each year more than three million Americans are injured in auto accidents. The costs of their medical care can range from a few hundred dollars for minor wounds to millions of dollars for injuries requiring multiple surgeries or long-term treatment.
Containing these costs is near the top of the list for state governments all across the country. In New York, the solution our legislature chose is called no-fault insurance. Here’s how it works:
- All New York auto insurance policies contain a provision known as personal injury protection (PIP). It’s used to cover the policy holder’s accident-related medical costs, including lost wages.
- In most cases, this approach eliminates the need to deal with the other party’s insurance company entirely. It’s supposed to simplify the claims process while discouraging insurance fraud.
In some cases, the no-fault system allows accident victims to seek compensation above and beyond the limits of their PIP coverage. Qualifying examples include:
- A period of disability lasting 90 days or longer.
- A fractured or broken bone.
- A disfiguring burn, laceration, scar, or another type of wound.
- Partial or total inability to use a body limb or organ.
- Loss of the ability to perform a bodily function: For example, a person whose cognitive abilities were damaged in the accident may have grounds for filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
What to do in the meantime
The no-fault auto insurance system has its upsides as well as its downsides. In some cases, it can leave accident victims in a bind, especially when the costs of their care exceed the limits of their PIP protection. This is something your personal injury lawyer can help you work through.
What can you do if the tally for your accident-related medical care is too much for PIP to cover? Here are some ideas to consider:
- Private health insurance: This type of coverage can act as an important supplement to the benefits offered by your PIP policy.
- Payment arrangements: Many healthcare providers are willing to work with patients who need extra time to pay for their therapy.
- Private financing: Several lenders offer line-of-credit healthcare loans to people with a good credit rating.
What to do if you need more help
New York’s auto insurance laws can sometimes seem bewildering. Navigating your way through this legal thicket is much easier when you have a team of New York City car accident lawyers in your corner. Here’s what they can do for you:
- Help you to understand your options: In this post, we’ve only scratched the surface of a complex, multi-layered topic. A consultation with a qualified personal injury attorney is the best way to answer your questions fully.
- Take your side with insurance companies: Like all private businesses, auto insurance firms are concerned first and foremost with their bottom line. You need someone on your side who knows how to tilt the odds in your favor.
- Put you in touch with top-quality care providers: Physicians, physical therapists, and other healthcare professionals differ in their qualifications and areas of specialty. A good law firm may have contacts with accomplished medical practitioners in your area.
Contact us at Douglas and London today
We help auto accident victims like you to get the compensation they need and deserve for their lost income, medical care, pain and suffering, and related expenses. Our New York City personal injury lawyers have recovered more than $18 billion for their clients over the years. Get in touch with us today to schedule your free consultation. We’re available 24/7 for your convenience. We can help you to get the past the pain so you can rebuild your life.