How Are My Medical Bills Paid for the Crash?
If you have been injured in a car accident, it is reasonable to expect to pay your medical bills and have money for yourself for your pain and suffering. But for many accident victims, it is first things first. How will I get my medical bills paid?
There are three common sources to pay for your medical bills in the event you are injured in a car accident in Maryland.Personal Injury Protection Insurance
The first, and generally the easiest, is your Personal Injury Protection Insurance, commonly known as PIP insurance. PIP is the car insurance that travels with the vehicle that the victim was driving or was a passenger in (or pedestrians hit by a car or truck). PIP covers lost wages, medical bills and other expenses that can result from personal injuries suffered in a Maryland auto accident. PIP insurance is not fault based (often called "no fault insurance").
In other words, PIP benefit covers your medical bills from your injuries from the car accident, regardless of who caused the accident. Maryland’s highest court, the Maryland Court of Appeals, has characterized the purpose of PIP as assuring “financial compensation to victims of motor vehicle accidents without regard to the fault of the named insured.”Your Own Health Insurance
The second is your own health insurance. Often, your health insurance will pay your bills from an accident just like any other injury or disease for which you have health insurance coverage. The catch is that when the insurance company pays your medical bills, they have what is called a subrogation lien on any settlement you will receive. If you do not pay back the money you owe, you risk losing your health insurance benefits.
One of the critical jobs our lawyers have is negotiating with the insurance company to reduce the medical lien that they have. Our lawyers have negotiated hundreds of medical liens in Maryland accident cases with such insurers as Blue Cross/CareFirst, Aetna, Kaiser Permanente, Coventry Health Care, Assurant Health, Medicare and Medicaid, and Golden Rule. By negotiating with these health insurance companies, we are able to increase the amount of money our clients recover from the accident.The At-Fault Driver or Negligent Party
Finally, of course, the at-fault driver is also responsible for the paying of all of your medical bills, including those medical bills that were paid by PIP or the insurance company. This is a hard concept to get your mind around. Why does the insurance company pay bills that have already been paid by PIP or your health care insurance?
It is complicated, but it is called the collateral source rule. But, suffice to say, you are able to make a claim for all of your medical bills (and lost wages) regardless of who paid the bill (and regardless of whether you were still paid at work while you were out).
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If you have a serious accident case, our experienced Maryland accident lawyers can help you navigate through these issues to help get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Our auto accident lawyers have the experience to sort through these complicated issues and stand up to the insurance companies to fight for fair compensation for the victims of car accidents, truck accident and motorcycle accidents.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an auto accident, call 1-800-553-8082 or click here for a free consultation to speak to a Maryland accident lawyer experienced in handling auto accident claims.More Information on Medical Liens