When someone has been injured in a crash, there can be a lot of concern about how the medical bills will be paid. Although the at-fault driver’s insurance company is supposed to cover damages, sometimes there can be challenges -- such as a dispute regarding responsibility for the accident or learning that the other driver didn’t carry auto insurance.
In these circumstances, it’s important to consider some alternative insurance settlement funds or settlement loans that could help. This could include someone’s health plan or a policy under the injured person’s auto insurance carrier.
Utilizing Health Insurance to Pay for Injuries Sustained in a Crash
The initial treatment received after an accident is almost always covered by health insurance. That’s usually not the time to sort through what happened and determine who was responsible. The goal is to administer the appropriate treatment as soon as possible.
The other issue is that the bills don’t start coming in until it’s determined what’s covered and how much. Once that’s figured out, then the person might be faced with deductibles and co-pays.
However, when it comes to ongoing medical care, the person might not have a choice in continuing to use his or her health insurance plan. In some cases, the hospital or clinic will cover everything (minus out-of-pocket expenses) and then seek reimbursement from the other driver’s insurance company. Or it might expect you to pay for everything and leave it up to you to get reimbursed. Other times, they will work directly with the insurance company to figure out the settlement funds.
But if someone else was at fault for the accident, that person’s policy should handle injury compensation. Unfortunately, there are sometimes other reasons that alternative insurance resources may need to be utilized.
Other Insurance Plans That Could Pay for Injuries from a Car Accident
Even if someone else was clearly at fault for the accident, an obstacle that could stand in the way is learning the driver wasn’t insured. This is why uninsured motorist coverage is so important. It’s not the ideal situation, to turn to your own insurance company when someone else is responsible -- but this required coverage could provide financial protection.
The minimum amounts that must be carried in West Virginia are $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident. Injury compensation will be covered, up to the policy limits. So if you carry the minimum and the medical bills are less than $20,000, everything is taken care of. No matter how much coverage you have, all related expenses will fall under injury compensation up to the policy limits.
Many drivers carry optional types of insurance that could also kick in. For instance, underinsured motorist coverage, which is many times purchased at the same time as uninsured coverage, can pay for costs that exceed the other driver’s policy limits (again, up to the limits of the policy).
So let’s say the other driver has the minimum $20,000 bodily injury compensation liability, but the medical bills come to $35,000. The remaining $15,000 will be covered by underinsured, as long as there is that much coverage on the policy.
Another optional type of insurance that a driver may have is personal injury compensation protection. This handles injury compensation, no matter who was at fault. If there is a dispute between the insurance companies concerning responsibility for the accident, this can take care of the settlement funds.
Although not an insurance alternative, another option might be to pursue a lawsuit against the other driver. When other types of insurance aren’t able to cover the costs and the injuries are serious, this could be the best way to recover damages.
Of course, this will require seeking legal counsel. In the interim, you might want to consider settlement loans from the various entities mentioned above. Again, your Clarksburg accident attorney will probably need to be involved so that all parties are happy with the terms of the settlement loans.
The Miley Legal Group is ready and waiting to work on your claim so that you can get healthy, get paid and move on with your life, leaving frustrating calls with insurance companies far in your past.
Call us at (304) 931-4088 to start your claim immediately, or if you would like to do a little more research first, then please review our extensive car accident FAQs.