Does Health Insurance Cover Injuries From an Auto Accident?
When you get sick or injured, you rely on your health insurance to cover the costs of your treatment and recovery. But, when you get injured in an auto accident that was another driver’s fault, the other driver’s insurance company is liable for your medical expenses and other losses. So, who pays your medical expenses while your personal injury claim is pending?
Your Health Insurance Should Cover Your Accident-Related Injuries…Initially
In a typical scenario, your health insurance should provide coverage for your accident-related medical expenses, at least initially. As long as you see a qualifying doctor (i.e. a physician who is “in-network”) pay your premiums, copays and deductibles, you are entitled to have your medical bills paid in accordance with the terms of your health insurance policy.
If the other driver’s insurance company is liable for your injuries, then your health insurance company will be entitled to reimbursement (or “subrogation”) in most cases. This means that the at-fault driver’s insurer must cover any medical expenses paid by your insurance company. Once your health insurance company has been reimbursed, then any additional damages awarded for your injuries will be yours to keep (subject to payment of other fees and expenses).
If Your Health Insurance Coverage or Personal Injury Award Isn’t Enough…
In some cases, health insurance and auto insurance policy limits will be insufficient to cover the costs of medical treatment. This can present a serious issue for accident victims and their families. If you incur medical expenses that you are unable to pay and that are not covered by any form of insurance, then you could face a substantial medical debt load as a result of the collision.
If this happens to you, you potentially have a few options available:
- Sue the at-fault driver personally – If the at-fault driver had auto insurance but his or her coverage limits were inadequate to cover your losses, you may be able to sue the driver personally for additional compensation. In order for this approach to be worthwhile, it will be necessary to determine what assets the driver owns that could be used to satisfy a judgment in your favor.
- Pursue a third-party claim – If the other driver was not the only one responsible for your accident, you may be able to file what is known as a “third-party claim.” In most cases, this involves filing a claim against a vehicle manufacturer, a road construction company or municipal authority, or the at-fault driver’s employer.
- Negotiate with your medical providers – In many cases, medical providers will be willing to negotiate (or even forgive) patients’ medical bills when no insurance coverage is available. If this is your best option, working with an experienced attorney will give you the best chance to minimize or eliminate what you owe.
Speak With a Denver Accident Attorney at Levine Law
If you would like more information about seeking insurance coverage or financial compensation after an auto accident, we encourage you to call 303-333-8000 or contact us online for a confidential consultation. Your initial consultation is free, and you pay nothing unless we