There seems to be a lot of misguided information and confusion around the topic of whose insurance you should use following a car accident injury case to pay for your medical bills. Mistakenly, many people don’t want their insurance rates to go up so they try to avoid using their car insurance policy as much as possible since the other person was at fault. This is bad and here is why.
The defendant’s insurance will not pay for your medical bills, pain and suffering and lost wages, until you settle with them.
This means that the defendant’s insurance company will not pay for your medical bills until you come to a settlement with them, which should only be when you are fully healed and have completed all your medical treatment. There is one exception, this doesn’t apply to people who are injured while using a bike or as a pedestrian, which are entitled to the defendant’s PIP (personal injury protection) policy, which acts like medical insurance and pays for your medical bills. If you are injured in a car accident, you can only use your own PIP if you are the driver. If you were the passenger, you get to use the driver’s PIP as well as your own, if you have a separate policy.
In the mean time, who is paying for your medical bills?
Since the defendant’s insurance company will not pay for your medical bills suffered in the car accident, who is going to pay for your medical bills and stop them from going to collections? If you have a PIP plan with your car insurance, you should absolutely use it.
PIP pays for any and all medical treatment such as hospital bills, ambulance rides, emergency room bills, chiropractor visits, physical therapy, massage therapy, doctors visits, and more. Most people have $10,000 in PIP benefits but some have $35,000 or more. Check out your insurance policy or call your insurance adjuster to find out how much you have.
If you run out of PIP, you can use your medical insurance to continue paying for medical treatment so long as the treatment is covered according to your policy and the treatment provider is ok with using it.
Additionally, some medical facilities will allow you to pay them back out of the settlement and continue to get treatment after your PIP has been exhausted. However, most medical facilities will require you to have a personal injury lawyer represent you and have them sign an agreement that says they are entitled to be repaid out of the settlement for their treatment of you.
What claim numbers do you give to your medical providers?
It is important that you give your PIP claim number to all of your medical providers especially hospitals and ambulances who will send you to collections very quickly if they are not paid within a couple months of service. You should not give the defendant’s insurance claim numbers to your medical providers, as they cannot bill them and the claim will be rejected, which may make the medical facility send you to collections.
Give your PIP claim number to all of your medical providers at the outset of your appointments so that all billing goes through your PIP.
They were responsible, shouldn’t they pay?
Yes, and they will. The defendant’s insurance company will repay all medical bills that have been paid by your PIP policy, medical insurance, and those you paid out of pocket or are waiting to pay back on a lien. This will come out of the settlement in addition to compensating you for your lost wages and pain and suffering.
Using PIP puts more money in your pocket
All medical bills are subject to being paid back by the defendant’s insurance company and to whoever paid them. However, if you hire a car accident injury lawyer to represent you for your injuries, your lawyer will be able to reduce the amount of PIP benefits that you have to pay back by at least 1/3, putting that money in your pocket, instead of your insurance company’s pocket. This is because you hired a lawyer to represent you and attorney’s fee are usually 1/3 of the settlement. State courts have found it unfair for the PIP insurance company to benefit from your hiring of a lawyer, who obtains money for their repayment out of the settlement.
Scared of racking up too many bills?
If you are scared of racking up too many bills because you believe you may not be able to get them paid for out of a car accident settlement, you should contact a car accident injury lawyer today. The Cherin Law Firm offers free consultations and will answer all your questions about your case, case value, PIP benefits, etc. Additionally, the Cherin Law Firm is paid out of the settlement and charges 1/3 of the settlement, which never comes out of the client’s pocket. Therefore, anyone can afford our services but you cannot afford not to have a lawyer representing you against the insurance company who are professional negotiators.