We can’t think of a worse time to have to worry about paying bills than in the hours, days, weeks or months following a car accident. It’s scary to imagine, but consider for a moment this scenario: you’ve been hit and you’ve been injured. You get to the hospital and find out you’ve broken your leg and you’ll need surgery, then likely physical therapy once you leave the hospital. On top of all this, you can’t help but wonder: “how in the world am I going to pay for all of this?” The ambulance ride, the hospital stay, the surgery, the physical therapy…”will I have to take care of this by myself?”
Your first thought might be: “the at-fault drivers’ insurance will cover my expenses!” And you would be partially correct. The liable insurance company is not legally obligated to pay for your expenses until a settlement has been reached. So, yes, eventually the at-fault drivers’ insurance will cover your medical expenses that you incurred as a result of the auto accident, but the question becomes one of timing. The hospital and physical therapist won’t wait for your case to be settled to collect payment.
So, we’re back to square one.
Who pays my bills until I’m ready to settle?
In Maryland, there are several options available to the injured party that will help them financially while they’re awaiting settlement.
The first, and historically the most popular, is to use the benefits of the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage on the car in which the injured person was riding at the time of the accident. Typically, though, PIP coverage maxes out around $2,500. Once PIP has been exhausted, the injured party must investigate other options. One such option may be another PIP policy. This could work if you have PIP coverage and were riding in the car of someone who has another separate PIP policy. You could essentially tap into their benefits and apply that money to your bills. But again, most PIP policies max out around $2,500, and after a hospital stay, leg surgery and months of PT, you’ll likely be facing medical bills that exceed $5,000.
Once PIP has been completely and totally exhausted, you’ll need to turn to examining your health insurance policy to see if you can get any sort of help or reimbursement from them. Hopefully at that point, you’ll be ready to settle and you can let the at-fault insurance company reimburse you and handle payments from then on.
Who can help me with all of this?
We can! You’ve been hurt and now you’re having to deal with insurance companies, which is no easy feat, even for someone who hasn’t had leg surgery. We’ll help you coordinate and submit the requisite paperwork to your insurance company; help you file a PIP claim; and will help you communicate with the at-fault drivers’ insurance company to ensure they aren’t trying to shirk their responsibility and liability.
In the past, Ferrante & Dill, LLC partner and Personal Injury attorney Nick Ferrante has worked for many of the major insurance companies and represented well known national retailers and trucking companies defending these types of claims. But now he works exclusively on the side of people who are injured – helping them to get compensated for the losses they have incurred as a result of someone else’s negligence. If you have been in an auto accident, please give him a call or email him today at (410) 535-6100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.