Who Pays My Medical Bills After a Utah Car Accident?
After a serious car accident, in addition to the difficulties associated with injuries, many accident victims are also worried about how the medical bills will be paid. As a Utah personal injury attorney practicing in this area for almost 20 years, I have written this short article to provide general information about how medical expenses are usually covered. Please note that this is not legal advice. If you are injured, you should consult an attorney about the specifics of your situation.
Personal Injury Protection
In Utah, all automobile insurance policies are required to have Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, coverage. This is intended to provide immediate minimal benefits to those injured in a car accident, regardless of fault. Generally, the insurance on the vehicle you were driving or occupying will provide this coverage. It usually includes at least $3,000.00 in medical benefits.
What happens once the PIP benefits are exhausted? If the medical expenses related to the accident exceed the PIP medical coverage, generally the injured person's health insurance company will cover the additional expenses. Health insurance companies, however, usually won't pay until the PIP coverage has been exhausted.
What if I don't have health insurance?
If an injured person doesn't have health insurance, and cannot get it, medical bills must be paid out of pocket or from a settlement. However, it may take months or years for a settlement to be obtained from the at-fault driver's insurance. In the meantime, some health care providers will give care on a lien basis. This means they will wait for payment until the case settles. Obviously, this arrangement is not ideal, but it is sometimes the only way to get needed treatment.
The at-fault driver's insurance company
Ultimately, if another driver was responsible for the car or truck accident in Utah, that driver, through their insurance company, is liable for the resulting medical bills. An experienced Utah car accident attorney is often needed to get a fair settlement. This means the bills previously paid by the health insurance and PIP can be recovered from the automobile insurance company of the at-fault driver. Often, if a settlement is achieved, the injured person's insurance company must be reimbursed for the bills they have paid.
Get legal advice
If this sounds complicated, that's because it is. There are various potential sources of payment of medical bills resulting from a car accident in Utah. They are sometimes difficult to obtain, complicated, and must be handled correctly. A knowledgeable attorney can help you navigate this challenging terrain. An attorney can also help you recover compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, and other losses. I've handled these cases for many years in Utah and am happy to talk to you for free to see if I can help you too. Please call (801) 438-1099 to discuss.