Here’s how medical bills get paid after a car accident in Philadelphia. If you’re covered under a car insurance policy issued in PA, you can make a PIP claim to get costs up to $5,000 (min.). This is true whether you caused the accident or not.
If you’re not covered, you might be able to make a PIP claim under one of the policies of the cars involved in the accident. If another driver caused the accident, you can always file a claim to seek compensation for damages like medical bills.
In the article below, our Pennsylvania car accident lawyers discuss the nuts and bolts of how medical bills get paid after a car or truck accident.
PIP (Personal Injury Protection) Benefits – Mandatory on Every Car Insurance Policy in Pennsylvania
If you’re injured in a car accident and need medical treatment, the odds are you’ll be eligible for PIP benefits which cover:
- medical bills,
- lost wages,
- funeral expenses, if applicable, and
- out of pocket expenses like household help.
Most people injured in car accidents assume that the at-fault driver will have to pay for the medical bills. This is only true as to any medical bills paid after PIP gets exhausted. That’s because every policy issued in PA has to provide a minimum of $5,000 of PIP benefits, and they are available without regard to fault.
It’s important to note that PIP benefits may still be available even if you don’t have your own policy or aren’t covered under a spouse or parent’s policy. Click here to learn more about the priority or order of PIP coverage in Pennsylvania.
What Does No-Fault Mean?
No-fault means that you can make a PIP claim for benefits on YOUR OWN policy, even if you caused the accident. So, if you’re at fault (or not), you make a PIP claim under your own policy. This sounds counter-intuitive to many people who are injured in accidents caused by another driver. However, this is the law in Pennsylvania. The reason PIP is available on every policy issued in Pennsylvania is to provide a minimum amount of medical benefits for everyone who drives (and has car insurance).
How PIP Works
In order to get the ball rolling for a PIP claim, you’ll have to contact your auto insurance company and inform them of the accident. You’ll be sent PIP claims forms and an application, or you can fill them in on the auto insurance company’s website. There may be other forms you’ll have to fill out. For example, you may be required to sign and return an Affidavit of No Insurance, especially if you’re making a PIP claim under someone else’s car insurance policy.
When you need medical treatment, be sure to provide the car insurance info to the medical billing offices. Most of the time, all you have to do is indicate that the injuries were sustained in a car, truck or pedestrian accident. The billing offices will ask you to provide the auto insurance info, including name, policy number and claim number if you have one.
When bills get paid through PIP, there are no co-pays or deductibles. Pennsylvania medical billing offices are usually very familiar with the process for submitting bills through PIP. When making a PIP claim, the process is very similar to making a health insurance claim. Medical bills get submitted to the auto insurance company on your behalf.
When making a claim for lost wages or out of pocket expenses, you’ll file the necessary application and forms with the PIP adjuster, the person designated by the auto insurance carrier. For a lost wages application, you’ll probably have to provide a wage verification and authorization to access your employment wage info. For miscellaneous expenses like household help, be sure to keep receipts. You’ll need them when submitting a PIP claim for reimbursement.
After PIP is Exhausted
What happens when the PIP amount becomes exhausted? It’s often the case that in a serious accident, a $5,000 minimum amount exhausts quickly. Even a trip to the ER with multiple diagnostic tests, admission to the hospital and/or surgery can exceed the $5,000 PIP limit. When this happens, the injured individual’s personal health insurance would kick in.
If the accident was caused by another driver, the injured individual may be able to make a legal claim to recover their financial losses, including medical bills that were paid by health insurance, co-payments, deductibles, etc.
Getting compensated for pain and suffering is not guaranteed. Pennsylvania law is pretty complex when it comes to filing a legal claim against the at-fault driver for recovery of non-economic damages (like pain and suffering). Pennsylvania limited tort law may prevent an injured individual from being able to get compensated fully. It’s crucial to consult with a lawyer with a thorough understanding of limited tort law and its exceptions as well as a fair amount of experience handling these kinds of cases.
Pennsylvania Car Accident Law Firm – FREE CONSULTATIONS
Our car accident lawyers handle car, truck and pedestrian accidents throughout Pennsylvania. Our lawyers have recovered nearly $200 million for our clients and are routinely rated as Top Injury Lawyers by Super Lawyers magazine. Call our office at (866) 641-0806.
**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.