Who will pay my medical bills after an automobile accident?
If you have been in a wreck in Florida and were treated for your injuries, either with a doctor of some sort or at an emergency room, you may have started receiving that inevitably ugly pile of bills that often accompanies a trip to a healthcare provider. In Florida, the bills could be possibly be paid through something known and “PIP Insurance” aka Personal Injury Protection / “No-fault” benefits. In Florida, PIP is generally going to be the first pool of funds responsible for paying medical bills subsequent to a motor vehicle accident. This isn’t always the case (i.e. Workers’ Compensation can be primary to PIP when you’re injured in a motor vehicle and on the job) but generally, if you’re a named insured (or resident relative) on a Florida Auto Insurance Policy, it is a good first starting ground for getting rid of these bills.
Additionally, bills may be satisfied or paid in part through health insurance—whether it is Medicaid, Medicare, tricare, or Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Since PIP generally only pays 80% of the medical expenses, health insurance may help by picking up the other 20%. If “Medpay” is available (Medical payments insurance made irrespective of fault) this coverage may also pay for the other 20% of unpaid bills or cover the expenses outright.
It is important to mention that any health insurer will likely have a right to be repaid by the at-fault party in the event they pay for medical expenses caused by a wrongful act. This is sometimes known as a “Right of Subrogation.” Depending on the language of the health insurance plan (or if it is government provided health insurance—statutes) this right of subrogation may be a legally valid and enforceable lien on any proceeds obtained pursuant to a settlement or suit against a tortfeasor. If this all sounds a little messsy—that’s because it is—and also, why it is important to seek advice from a licensed and qualified attorney when you have been involved in any of the situations mentioned above. At out law firm, we not only provide a free consultation, we also provide pro bono (“Free”) representation for clients for various legal situations that they may be unable to afford. If you’re still unsure about any of the medical bills you have received and feel burdened by the task of getting them resolved, feel free to give us call, we’d love to help!