Who Pays your Medical Bills when you are Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident?

Who Pays your Medical Bills when you are Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident?

Posted By Law Offices of Thomas J. Murphy || 13-Nov-2010

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requires all Pennsylvania automobile insurance policies to provide medical coverage for accidents taking place in Pennsylvania . Which automobile insurance policy pays your medical bills when you are injured in a motor vehicle collision in Pennsylvania is not based on who caused the accident. Rather, the Pennsylvania legislature set forth an order of priority at 75 Pa.C.S. § 1713(a) of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law, which states that medical bills are to be paid by applicable automobile insurance coverage in the following order:

(1) If you are a “named insured” on an automobile insurance policy, then that policy of insurance will pay your medical bills, even if the insured vehicle on the policy was not involved in the accident. A “named insured” is usually the owner of the vehicle and his or her spouse.

(2) If you are not a “named insured” on any automobile insurance policy, but are an “insured” on an automobile insurance policy, then the policy that you are an “insured” on will pay your medical bills. You are usually an “insured” on an automobile insurance policy issued to a relative that you live with, other than a spouse, such as your parent, sibling or child. As a resident relative of the policy holder, you are an insured on your relative’s automobile insurance policy and this policy will pay your medical bills, even if your relative’s insured vehicle was not involved in the accident.

(3) If you are not a “named insured” or an “insured” on any automobile insurance policy as discussed above, then the policy of automobile insurance applicable to the vehicle that you occupied at the time of the accident will pay your medical bills. Here the vehicle insured under the automobile insurance policy must be involved in the accident.

(4) If you are not a “named insured” or an “insured” on any automobile insurance policy as discussed above and you were a pedestrian or on a bicycle at the time of the accident, then a policy of automobile insurance on any of the motor vehicles involved in the accident will pay your medical bills. Here again, the vehicle insured under the automobile insurance policy must be involved in the accident.

If you are eligible to have your medical bills paid under no. 3 or 4 above, and the vehicle in question was uninsured by its registered owner, you may as a last resort be eligible to have your medical bills paid by the Pennsylvania Assigned Claims Plan, pursuant to 75 Pa.C.S. § 1752 if you are a Pennsylvania resident and the accident occurred in Pennsylvania .

Because the payment of medical bills is not based on fault, but rather is based on the above order of priority as determined by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania , the insurance premium for the automobile insurance policy that pays your medical bills should not be increased by the insurance company as a result of paying your medical bills.

In Pennsylvania, automobile insurance is the first insurance to pay your medical bills for treatment of injuries sustained in an accident. You must first exhaust the automobile insurance policy's medical benefits coverage before your health insurer will accept payment of your medical bills. Also, Pennsylvania automobile insurance pays the entire bill. You cannot be charged any co-pay by your medical provider. However, once your automobile insurance is exhausted, you will have to adhere to any co-pays that your health insurance plan requires. If you do not have health insurance, then after you exhaust the medical benefits under one of the above automobile insurance policies, you must pursue a negligence action against the negligent driver's automobile liability insurance policy for payment of your remaining unpaid medical bills, known as an excess medical claim.

Finally, if you are the owner of a vehicle registered in Pennsylvania and you fail to insure that vehicle, then you are not eligible to have your medical bills paid by any of the automobile insurance policies discussed above or through the Pennsylvania Assigned Claims Plan. This is an intentional penalty imposed by the Pennsylvania legislature to motivate all vehicle owners to legally insure their vehicles. See 75 Pa.C.S. § 1714.

A knowledgeable personal injury attorney will assist you in making sure that your medical bills are paid by the correct automobile insurance policy at no cost to you and will review your case you determine whether you have a viable claim for personal injuries, lost wages and excess medical bills against a negligent driver's automobile insurance liability policy after analyzing your case with respect to Pennsylvania's Full Tort/ Limited Tort law.