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Who Pays Your Medical Bills After a Florida Car Accident?

July 17, 2023 – Michael S. Herman, Jr., Esq.

Who Pays Your Medical Bills After a Florida Car Accidents? Britto & Herman Injury Lawyers - Call (561) 835-5555

Who Pays Your Medical Bills After a Florida Car Accident?

Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic experience, and dealing with the aftermath can often be overwhelming. One of the most pressing concerns that victims face is figuring out who will pay their medical bills.

In Florida, understanding the role of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, health insurance, the responsibility of the negligent driver, and the role of uninsured motorist coverage is crucial.

In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with valuable insights to navigate the complex landscape of medical bill payments after a car accident.

What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance?

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance is a type of coverage required for all Florida drivers. It is designed to provide immediate medical and financial assistance to policyholders, regardless of who caused the accident.

PIP insurance may cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other related costs like mileage reimbursement resulting from a car accident. It is a no-fault insurance, meaning that it pays benefits regardless of who was at fault for the accident.

However, in order to access PIP benefits you’ll have to see a doctor within the first fourteen days following an accident and receive a diagnosis of an “emergency medical condition” requiring further treatment. Failure to seek medical treatment promptly within the time period may result in you losing your PIP benefits.

In addition, PIP only pays 80% of each medial bill leaving you on the hook for the remaining 20%. It follows you as a pedestrian or cyclist, as long as a the operation of a motor vehicle caused your injury.

In summary, PIP insurance acts as a safety net for injured individuals, ensuring they receive the necessary medical care and financial support promptly. However, it is not enough to provide you a full recovery.

Why Does PIP Pay First?

Under Florida law, PIP insurance pays the first $10,000 of medical bills at 80% following a car accident. This approach is known as the “no-fault” system and is aimed at providing immediate relief to accident victims.

PIP insurance pays first because it eliminates the need for time-consuming legal battles to determine fault and ensures that medical expenses are covered promptly. However, it’s important to note that PIP coverage may not be sufficient to cover all medical costs, especially in severe injury cases. In such instances, it becomes essential to explore additional options to cover the remaining expenses.

Does My Health Insurance Pay My Medical Bills After a Florida Car Accident?

In addition to PIP insurance, your health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid may also pay for your medical bills after a car accident. However, it’s important to understand that health insurance providers may have a right of subrogation, which means they may seek reimbursement from any settlements or awards you receive from the at-fault party.

It is crucial to review your health insurance policy to determine how they handle claims related to car accidents. Consulting with an experienced Florida injury lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of health insurance and ensure you protect your rights while seeking the compensation you deserve.

What if I Have a Health Plan Through Work?

If you have a health insurance plan through your employer that is governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), you may encounter specific challenges when seeking reimbursement for medical bills after a car accident.

ERISA plans often have a right of reimbursement, meaning that they can assert a claim against any settlement or award you receive. Navigating the complexities of ERISA can be daunting, but an experienced Florida injury lawyer can guide you through the process and help ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve while managing any potential reimbursements to your employer-sponsored health plan.

When Does the Negligent Driver Pay?

In cases where the negligence of another driver caused the accident and resulting injuries, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your medical bills and other damages like lost wages, pain and suffering, etc. by bringing a claim or filing a lawsuit against the driver who caused the accident. In some cases you may sue the vehicle owner or the driver’s employer if he or she was on the clock.

Recovery usually comes from the negligent driver’s insurance company. You’ll want to look to the bodily injury coverage available under the negligent driver’s policy. The bodily injury limit will dictate how much can be recovered for your injuries from the negligent driver’s insurance company.

What if the At Fault Driver Does Not Carry Bodily Injury Coverage?

Florida is one of the few states that does not require driver’s to carry bodily injury coverage. However, all Floridians have the option to purchase uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage can step in to pay for your personal injuries after a car accident when the at fault driver did not purchase enough bodily injury coverage for your damages. In Florida, you absolutely must have this coverage in case you are injured in an accident.

To learn more about how uninsured motorist coverage can protect you and your family, read our blog entry here: Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Why You Need It

What Are Common Car Accident Injuries?

Injuries are common following Florida car accidents. Following a Florida car crash, you may experience injuries that include:

  • fractures
  • spinal cord injuries
  • traumatic brain injuries
  • whiplash
  • sprains/strains
  • knee injuries
  • shoulder injuries
  • psychological injuries

What Can I Recover Damages For After a Florida Car Accident?

Recoverable damages can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. By partnering with an experienced Florida injury lawyer, you can ensure that your rights are protected and pursue the compensation you deserve.

To learn more about how insurance companies value your injury case for settlement, read our blog entry here: What Is Your Florida Personal Injury Case Really Worth?

Understanding the complex landscape of medical bill payments after a car accident is essential to protect your rights and seek the compensation you deserve. In Florida, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance plays a significant role in covering the initial medical expenses, but additional avenues such as health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid may also be involved. If you have an employer-sponsored health plan governed by ERISA, special considerations come into play.

However, in cases where the negligence of another driver caused the accident, hiring a skilled Florida injury lawyer is crucial to recover the compensation you are entitled to by law. By taking the necessary steps and seeking professional guidance, you can navigate this challenging process with confidence.

Call (561) 835-5555(561) 835-5555 to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer at Britto & Herman Injury Lawyers!

For more information on how personal injury lawyers get paid, read our blog entry here: Do I Have to Pay My Personal Injury Lawyer?

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