When you’re involved in an auto accident there at many variables that will be taken into account in regards to who pays for your medical treatment. The most important factor is “who was” the At-Fault driver. There are more options and entities to pay for your medical treatment if you are the Not At-Fault driver. If by chance you are the At-Fault driver you still have options however they are more limited.
Most people look at the situation in one of two ways:
- Someone hit my vehicle; they will pay for any medical bills I have.
- I hit someone; I will have to pay out of pocket for my medical bills.
Both of these are true statements and both aren’t entirely correct either. The personal injury world can be difficult to understand so we are going to add some clarity; to make everything more understandable. As we begin to break down the scenarios below remember that no two cases are the same however what we will be illustrating is true for the majority of cases. Before we do we need to review what Medical Payment Coverage (Med-Pay) is because it is a large factor in determining who pays.
Med-Pay in Colorado
Colorado State Law has required that all automobile policies issued in the state to include a minimum amount of Med-Pay coverage. The overall purpose of this coverage is to provide the first $5,000 of medical expenses following a car crash. This type of coverage will cover costs that are resultant of ambulances, hospital visits, urgent care, medical doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapy. The amount of Med-Pay on your policy is the amount that each individual in your vehicle is covered for. For example; you have $5,000 of coverage; you’re the driver and you have two other passengers; yourself and each of the other two passengers have $5,000 individually for coverage after the car accident.
Regardless of who is At-Fault:
Med-Pay is designed to cover the immediate costs that are incurred after any auto accident. Without Med-Pay auto insurance companies will do everything they can to not have to cover the damages and pay for your medical bills. You pay for Med-pay on your own auto insurance; it is a built in protection mechanism against any situation that might arise from an auto crash. There are different limits of Med-Pay that you can pay for ($5,000-$25,000); all of which will have a small increase on your monthly premium. This premium difference is very small in contrast to the huge medical bills that can be resultant from a car crash. Med-Pay offers the first line of financial protection when you have been injured in a motor vehicle collision.
All insurance companies must offer Med-Pay with new and renewal policies, however each individual has the option to opt-out of coverage by doing so in writing. Don’t do this!! The coverage it provides is huge and the cost is very small. If you don’t have Med-Pay; call your insurance company and have it added to your policy.
Who’s going to Pay
If you’re Not At-Fault and have been injured, your Med-Pay policy will be used first if you have the benefit on your own auto policy. You will not have a premium increase on your monthly rate if you use your Med-Pay; you were Not At-Fault. If you exceed your Med-Pay benefit or do not have Med-Pay then we will bill the third party insurance. The third party insurance is the insurance that the At-Fault driver was carrying. They are responsible for any medical bills that are reasonable and necessary up to the limits of the policy that the At-Fault driver was carrying. In the event that the At-Fault driver doesn’t have any insurance or you’re involved in a hit and run; then your un-insured/under-insured (UM/UIM) will pick up the financial obligations up to the limits of your policy. It is very important to have both UM/UIM and Med-Pay on your own auto policy for situations like these.
In the situation where you are the At-Fault driver and have been injured; your Med-Pay policy will be used first if you have the benefit. Your monthly premiums will be going up, not from the fact that you’re using your Med-Pay, but from the fact that you caused an auto accident. If you don’t have Med-Pay your options become more limited and at this point your will have to pay out of pocket for your expenses. Your health insurance will be utilized next after the Med-Pay and any expenses will be based off of your individual coverage. If you don’t have health insurance then you’ll have the option to pay at the time of service.
Have you been in an Auto Crash
As you can see there are many variables that come into effect after an auto crash. If you’ve been in a crash; no matter who was at fault, call us at 303-758-9000 and let us help you with the complexities that a personal injury case presents.