After a car or truck accident occurs, one of the first issues the injured party must confront is the financial losses caused by the accident. Between medical bills, rental car costs, and lost wages, a car accident can wreak financial havoc. In serious injury car accident cases, the injured party must often navigate the incredibly complex world of car insurance in addition to suffering physical injuries.
As the weeks go by, those injured in car accidents often wonder how they will be able to pay medical bills or recover lost wages. For example, let’s say a single parent gets injured in a car accident and suffers serious spinal injuries as well as a fractured arm which requires surgery. Unable to work for 6 weeks, the financial strain of the loss of income puts the household in jeopardy. The medical bills alone are over $10,000. Who pays for those medical bills?
Recovering Medical Bills After a Car Accident in PA
Pennsylvania requires a minimum of $5,000 of PIP coverage. Therefore, the injured party would make a claim under their car insurance policy for at least the statutory minimum, or the amount under the policy. Most residents of Pennsylvania select the state minimum- $5,000 of PIP benefits. Many choose $10,000.
In this example, if the individual had a $5,000 PIP policy, the individual would be responsible for the remaining $5,000 of medical bills. The individual would make the PIP claim under their own car insurance policy because Pennsylvania, like many other states including NJ, is a no-fault state. This means that fault is taken out of the equation if you’re injured in a car accident and incur medical bills. The respective party’s own car insurance company pays for the medical bills (up to the amount on the policy).
After the PIP amount is exhausted, the individual’s private health insurance will kick in and pay the remaining medical expenses. If there is no health insurance, the individual is technically responsible for the expenses.
Suggested reading: Financial Recovery in a PA or NJ Car Accident Case
In a subsequent claim or lawsuit against the driver at fault, the injured person may be able to recover past medical bills – both those that have already been paid and those that are still outstanding. Part of the damages work up in a car accident claim is presenting all the medical bills and related expenses incurred as a result of the accident. In addition, future medical expenses, or those that will be reasonably necessary in the future, can also be added to the damages claim.
It is important to note that if the injured party’s private health insurance kicks in and pays for the medical expenses after PIP has exhausted, the party may be required to reimburse the health insurance company from the proceeds of the lawsuit. This is known as subrogation and a health insurance company’s subrogation rights will vary from case to case.
More from our car accident law library:
- Pennsylvania Car Insurance – What Bodily Injury Protection Covers
- Bodily Injury Car Accident Insurance Coverage in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania & New Jersey Car Accident Lawyers
To submit your case for review by our Pennsylvania and New Jersey car and truck accident lawyers, call Click To Call. Our lawyers are available for a free, no obligation legal consultation, and can obtain special admission in other states, such as New York or Delaware, on a case by case basis.
**This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.
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