Will Car Insurance Pay for My Medical Bills?
Last Updated on December 12, 2019
Car accidents can be devastating – not only can they result in property damage, but they can also cause serious injuries. Treating your injuries immediately after a car accident is important, but medical bills can add up quickly. Even if you have good health insurance, it may not cover all of your medical bills, which is where you will want to rely on your car insurance. There are many cases where your car insurance will pay your medical bills, but it isn’t a guarantee.
Car Insurance and Medical Bills in New York
Car insurance law is slightly different in New York than in other states. This is because New York is a ‘no-fault’ state, which means that neither party is assigned blame in cases of a car accident. This means that your car insurance provider will pay for your medical bills. When you initially receive your insurance policy, you will have an assigned ‘no-fault’ limit. This is the amount of money your insurer will put towards your medical bills. The benefit of living in a no-fault state is that you will usually get your insurance claims paid much faster than you would with an at-fault state. There’s less processing to be done since the claim only has to go through one insurance company.
Once your medical bills exceed your no-fault limit, you will be responsible for paying the rest of the bills. This is where your health insurance should kick in and pay for the remainder of your bills. There are still instances where you can file a traditional liability claim though. If your medical bills are high enough, or if you’ve been very severely injured, you can file a liability claim against the other driver to cover your medical bills. However, cases like this can take a very long time to resolve, particularly in no-fault states where they don’t happen often. Even if the other driver was truly at fault, they won’t be responsible for paying your bills on an ongoing basis. You will need another way to pay those bills in the meantime until you receive your settlement money.
How Can I Pay My Bills While Waiting for Car Insurance?
Since New York is a no-fault state, you won’t have to wait as long to receive your insurance settlement as many other states. However, you still may need additional assistance to cover your medical bills in the meantime. Your first go-to should be your health insurance company. Depending on the quality of your health insurance, they should cover most of your bills. However, you may have to pay an initial deductible. If you’re struggling to get your insurance to cover your medical bills, it may help to work with a lawyer who is experienced in car accidents. Not only can they help you through the process of negotiating your car insurance settlement, but they can also work with your health insurance to ensure that you aren’t overcharged.
If you feel confident that your car insurance or liability settlement is going to cover all of your medical bills, but aren’t sure how quickly they will do so, you may want to consider taking out a loan to cover them in the short term. Once the settlement comes in, you can use that money to pay the loan back. If you’re going to use this strategy, it’s important to be very careful when selecting a loan. If the interest rate on the loan is too high, you could end up owing significantly more money than you were initially charged in medical bills.
How Should I Shop for No-Fault Coverage?
No-fault car insurance is often referred to as personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. New York state requires that you have a certain amount of liability coverage, but consumers are encouraged to purchase further PIP coverage. While you’re not technically required to have this coverage, you shouldn’t go without it if you’re going to be on the road in New York. Your PIP coverage is particularly important if you don’t have great health insurance, as you may need to rely on it to cover most of your medical bills. PIP coverage is also very important if you often drive with passengers. In the unlikely event you get into an accident, you may need to cover their medical bills as well as your own. PIP coverage not only covers a certain amount of your medical bills, but it can also cover a percentage of your lost wages should you need to miss work.
Just like any other type of car insurance, PIP quotes can vary widely, and you should get quotes from several different companies before making a final decision. The overall cost of your PIP insurance will be based on many different factors, including your age, gender, location, your driving record, and the type of car you have. Although PIP coverage requires some additional financial investment, it can save you thousands of dollars in medical bills down the line if you do get into an accident.
Car insurance can pay for your medical bills, but you need to be sure you have personal injury protection coverage. If you are in a serious accident, you may be able to file a liability claim, but it can take a very long time for these claims to be processed.