Anyone seriously injured in a car accident will not only have to deal with a lot of pain, but a lot of uncertainty as well. They often wonder how in the world they’ll be able to deal with the mountain of medical expenses that are piling up. Whether they’ve been in a car wreck, they were on their bicycle and struck by a car, or a vehicle hit them when they were merely crossing the street, their days are filled with stress and worry.
If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation due to another’s negligence, the attorneys with Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh would like to share some information on how your medical bills will be taken care of. We would also like to be your law firm. Our skilled, experienced legal representatives know how to win car accident cases. When you turn to us, you’ll be working with a team of skilled lawyers who will do everything possible to help you get every penny you deserve.
How Are Medical Bills Paid After a Car Accident?
You’ve no doubt heard that one of the first things you should do after a car accident is to exchange insurance information with the other driver, or the motorist who hit you while you were biking or walking.
But what happens after that? Read on to find out about how auto insurance works after an accident.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) for Car Accident Injury Bills
Florida is known as a “no fault” state. That simply means that when a car accident takes place, the drivers file a claim with their own insurance company. Every driver in the state must carry PIP (personal injury protection) coverage, which is included in their general auto insurance policy.
Motorists must have at least $10,000 in PIP coverage. It basically acts as an extension of your overall policy. And it’s designed to pay for a wide range of medical expenses. These include the following:
- Lost wages due to missing work.
- Medical care provided on a non-emergency basis.
- Other types of medical care.
- Death benefits if the accident leads to a fatality.
- Other expenses related to medical care.
PIP will typically cover 80% of all medical expenses, as long as they are considered to be “reasonable and necessary,” up to a maximum of $10,000. It doesn’t matter who was at fault for the collision.
What Does PIP Cover?
Here’s a more detailed look at some of what your PIP policy will typically cover.
- Lost wages. If you are unable to work because you’ve been hurt, your PIP policy will cover 60% of the wages you lose. Up to $10,000. If you are unable to do basic things, such as cleaning your home, doing your laundry and taking care of your pet, your PIP can include costs for those services as well.
- General medical care. This includes diagnostic, surgery and hospital expenses, as well as ambulance and rehabilitation costs.
- Non-emergency care. PIP will only cover $2,500 for medical costs that are considered non-emergency. As a result, you should go to the emergency room even if you don’t think you’ve been badly injured. Some injuries will not start to show systems for days – or even weeks – after they occur.
How to File a PIP Claim in Florida
Your insurance agent will help you go through the mechanics of filing a PIP claim. What’s important to know is that you’ll need to do so in a timely manner. You will also have to obtain treatment within two weeks of the date of the accident in order to be covered. If you wait longer than that, then you probably won’t be able to obtain any PIP compensation.
Suing Another Party for Medical Bills After Your Car Accident
If you’ve been severely injured, you probably don’t think that $10,000 will cover all of your medical expenses. In most cases, you’ll be right. The no-fault system is designed to reduce litigation. However, you may have no choice but to pursue legal action if your bills will be much more than what your insurer will cover.
Suppose your medical treatment will cost $100,000 or more. You’ll likely have to file a personal injury claim against the negligent driver. This will improve your chances of obtaining full and fair compensation for your injuries. This will especially be the case if you were involved in a collision with a truck, since injuries in these types of accidents will typically result in much more severe injuries than the typical car wreck.
If you want the best possible chance of achieving a positive outcome in your lawsuit, you’re going to have to get the help of an experienced attorney. There is simply no way you could navigate all of the complexities of this kind of case on your own. The negligent driver’s insurance company will do everything it can to either greatly reduce your compensation – or deny it completely.
But if you have an attorney working on your side, they will know how to negotiate with an insurer on your behalf. In most cases, negotiations are enough to gain you a fair settlement. If that offer doesn’t come, however, your legal representative will be ready to go to court.
Speak With an Experienced Car Accident Attorney to Discuss Your Options
Whether you’re a Florida resident who was involved in a car accident, or you were on vacation in our state when you were hurt, the law firm of Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh will be here for you.
Our attorneys are very effective negotiators. But they are also effective litigators. Insurance companies often refuses to make a fair offer. When that happens, we’ll have the proof it takes to get you every dollar you’re entitled to. We will perform a thorough investigation into your accident. And we’ll gather evidence needed to show that you were not at fault.