If you are in an auto accident in PA, the determination of which insurance will pay for treatment for your injuries will depend. Simply put, you use auto insurance and not health insurance for the first layer of medical insurance for auto accident injuries in PA. There may be numerous policies for various people involved in the accident so which one covers you? This is laid out in the PA Motor Vehicle Act under a section dealing with order of priority. If any auto medical insurance is available, that is what will cover your bills up to the limit of the applicable policy. In PA, the minimum legal limit for medical coverage on an auto policy is only $5000. That doesn't go very far so what happens next if you exceed or "exhaust" the medical limit? The next layer is your health insurance, subject to all your co-pays and deductibles. In this day and age, with high co-pays and deductibles on many health insurance policies, it is clear that adding as much medical coverage, called PIP or Personal Injury Protection, as you can afford on your auto policy is a VERY good idea. Otherwise, if you only have $5000, when you deplete or exhaust that amount, you could have a $7500 deductible on your health insurance. Maybe it is lower or higher but the bottom line is that you will have to pay that amount out of pocket before your health insurance will kick in and start paying (subject to your co-pays, if you have them). Maybe you have already had medical care during the year prior to your accident so you will only have part of that to pay out of pocket, but what a bad position to be in if you were badly injured and do not have the cash available to continue medical treatment or will leave the hospital with a gigantic bill. For this reason it is particularly important for you to choose at the minimum a $10,000 or $50,000 limit on your PIP coverage. If you speak to your agent about the differential in the premium amounts you will see that it is worth it.
In some of our cases, we have been able to convince physicians and physical therapy centers to wait for payment until the end of the case. Many want the patient and lawyer to sign a "fee protection letter". We don't recommend that unless we pre-approve the wording because some of those letters contractually require you to pay 100% of the bill. Why should a doctor get 100% of the bill paid by you out of pocket when they wouldn't get 100% from any insurance company? Exactly. This is why when we represent you we negotiate these terms so they are favorable or at least fair to the patient.
If you have been in an auto accident, truck accident or were a pedestrian hit by a car, call us to find out exactly how your medical bills will be paid in your specific situation. We are available to answer all your accident related questions without any fee for the consultation. Don't jeopardize your financial health by winging it on your own-your credit could be at stake.
Call Sandra Worthington of Worthington Law Group at 215-576-5150 for a free, no-strings-attached consultation about your accident today.