When you’re in a car accident, you probably have medical bills for treatment of your injuries. Of course, the next question is who pays for your medical bills after a car accident in Florida. Florida is a no-fault state for car insurance.
That means that who pays your medical bills after a Florida car accident depends on the severity of your injuries, your car insurance policy, and even your health insurance. You may also need to work with an experienced Florida car accident lawyer to ensure you get the compensation needed for your medical bills.
Does Your Accident Fall Under No-Fault?
The first step to determining who pays your medical bills after a car accident is determining whether or not your case falls within Florida’s no-fault system. All Florida drivers must purchase no-fault vehicle insurance. The insurance covers you for less-serious injuries that you might receive after a car accident.
The general rule is that each driver looks at their own insurance to recover for their losses even if they’re at fault. If you suffer a severe or permanent injury that meets the definition of a qualifying injury under Florida law, you can bring a claim against the at-fault driver to recover for your losses. Once you figure out what type of case you have, you can determine who pays your medical bills.
If Your Injuries Are in the No-Fault System
If your injuries are the kind that stay in Florida’s no-fault system, your order for recovery is as follows:
1. Personal Injury Protection (PIP insurance)
2. MedPay supplemental coverage
3. Your health insurance
Personal Injury Protection (PIP insurance) is at the core of Florida no-fault insurance. PIP insurance pays for your medical bills when you’re in an accident.
The insurance pays for your medical bills whether or not you contributed to the cause of the accident. PIP insurance pays 80 percent of your medical bills up to your policy limit. You may also have a deductible that you must meet before the insurance coverage kicks in.
What PIP Insurance Must Cover
Florida’s no-fault laws dictate what types of medical services must be covered by PIP insurance:
• Medical, surgical, x-ray, dental, and rehabilitative services are covered
• Hospital, ambulance, and nursing services are covered
• Follow-up care is covered
• The treatment facility must be medically licensed
• You must have a doctor’s order for the medical care
• Acupuncture and massage therapy are not covered
• Injuries inflicted because of self-harm or while you’re committing a felony are not covered
How Do I Get Payment?
To get your bills paid, you must submit copies of the billing statements to the insurance company. The insurance company should pay the bills as soon as they receive them. The insurance company’s payment is overdue after 30 days.
Once your PIP insurance has covered your losses up to your policy limits, the next step is to look at MedPay for additional coverage.
MedPay is optional supplemental coverage that pays for medical bills that your PIP benefits don’t pay. You can buy MedPay insurance that covers the 20 percent of damages that PIP benefits don’t include. You can also purchase MedPay coverage that pays more than your PIP benefits.
You may have additional bills after your PIP insurance and your MedPay benefits are exhausted. The next step is to look at your health insurance provider.
This is where your insurance provider takes over. Once your PIP and MedPay policies pay out to their policy limits, your health insurance begins to pay benefits according to the terms of your policy.
You Cover Additional Bills
If even your health insurance doesn’t cover all of your bills, you may be left to pay for some of your losses out of pocket. That makes it essential to examine your insurance policy before you have an accident.
Even though you must have a $10,000 car insurance policy, you can purchase more. If you have the PIP insurance and MedPay coverage that you need, you may be able to pay your medical bills without having to turn to your health insurance or dip into your own wallet.
PIP Insurance Is Primary
According to Florida law 627.736, PIP insurance is the primary payer after a car accident. Even if you have health insurance, your PIP insurance pays first. Remember that you must seek medical care within 14 days of your accident to receive full PIP benefits.
What Do I Do If the Insurance Company Won’t Pay?
You have a right to the PIP benefits that you bought to comply with Florida’s no-fault insurance laws. You may be in a situation where the insurance company won’t pay you the PIP benefits that you deserve.
If the insurance company doesn’t pay you what you deserve, you can bring a claim to enforce your PIP benefits.
If Your Injuries Are Outside of the No-Fault System
If you have extremely serious injuries or car accident injuries that result in permanent disfigurement, you can go outside of Florida’s no-fault insurance system to bring your claim directly against the other driver.
In that case, you bring your case traditionally. Your attorney may approach the other side or their insurance policy for a fair settlement. You might also bring your case through the legal system.
How An Accident Lawyer Can Help
The legal team at Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys have helped thousands of accident victims just like you. We’re dedicated to ensuring that each of our clients receives the competent, aggressive representation they deserve.
If you’re not sure where to turn for payment of your medical bills after a car accident, contact us at (813) 333-6666 or fill out our contact form to schedule your free case evaluation. There is no fee unless we win.