Who Pays Medical Bills After A Florida Car Accident?
Injured in a car accident that you didn’t cause? Who is supposed to pay your medical bills?
Being injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault can be an incredibly painful and expensive experience. Depending on the state of your injuries, you could incur medical bills that amount to thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. These bills could include the costs of
- ambulatory transport
- imaging tests like X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, etc.
- medical devices (wheelchair, crutches, boot, etc.)
- physical therapy
- chiropractic care
- and more.
Even if you have health insurance, you may still be faced with out-of-pocket expenses, but you shouldn’t be the one who pays medical bills after a Florida car accident – that’s not fair. You have a legal right to pursue compensation from another party (or multiple parties, depending on the circumstances of your accident).
First, your PIP coverage pays medical bills after a Florida car accident.
Florida is a state with “no fault” insurance laws. This doesn’t mean that no one is at fault for the crash. Clearly, someone has to be, unless the accident was caused by an animal or dangerous weather conditions, but even then another party’s negligence may have played a factor. The presence of “no fault” laws simply mean that you have to go through your own insurance first before seeking compensation elsewhere.
All drivers in Florida are legally required to carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection coverage, also known as PIP coverage. This type of insurance is supposed to cover the costs of your medical bills whether or not you were at fault for the accident; you must file a PIP claim first before seeking damages in one of the other ways discussed below.
However, making a PIP claim can be a challenging, frustrating process, and may not result in enough compensation to fully cover your medical bills. Coverage is limited to 80% of your medical expenses and 60% of lost wages incurred. (For any injuries not considered to be “emergency medical conditions, the limit is a meager $2,500). Your own insurance company may not be willing to pay out even up to the 80% or 60% of the bills you have in order to protect their bottom line, which is why you should work with experienced Florida car accident attorneys to make the claim in the first place. Your lawyers can explain whether or not taking further legal action is in your best interests!
But the responsible driver’s insurance company is the one who really owes you.
Florida’s no fault laws require you to go through PIP first, but that’s not your only recourse. After you’ve made a PIP claim, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver’s insurance company; they are the party who most commonly pays medical bills after a Florida car accident.
Insurance companies lose money when they pay out claims to injured accident victims, particularly ones who they don’t insure. They will do everything in their power to avoid giving you the full amount your injuries are worth, and it will take a fight to recover compensation. On your own, trying to stand up for yourself and your legal rights while you are healing from car accident injuries can be an exhausting and fruitless process. Having the right attorney team on your side can take the burden off you and give you a better chance at winning.
If the other driver didn’t have insurance, you can pursue compensation with your own insurance company.
You can’t sue the other driver’s insurance company if the other driver didn’t have insurance, an unfortunately common occurrence in Florida. Recent data shows that as many as 1 in 5 Florida drivers are on the roads illegally without insurance. People who are willing to disobey the law and drive without the required amount of insurance coverage are more likely to disobey other traffic laws, as well, making them more likely to cause accidents. If you are hit by a driver who doesn’t have insurance, or doesn’t have enough insurance, you may be able to pursue compensation (past your PIP coverage) through your own insurance company. If you have UM/UIM (uninsured motorist) coverage, this type of claim becomes simpler to pursue, but even if you didn’t, a knowledgeable law firm may be able to recover damages for you in a lawsuit.
While you wait for your case to settle, you can seek out litigation financing.
Taking legal action and working with an attorney can help you get paid, but sometimes that can take time, especially if your case goes to trial. Litigation financing, otherwise known as a lawsuit loan, can be a source that pays medical bills after a Florida car accident until you win and are able to repay the loan with interest with the money you received in a settlement. A lawyer can help you understand if litigation financing is in your best interests and explain your options for/connect you to financial aid.
The Florida Law Group can ensure that you’re not the one who pays medical bills after a Florida car accident that wasn’t your fault. Call now.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence, call The Florida Law Group today to schedule a free consultation. Our aggressive, award-winning car accident injury lawyers have recovered over $1 billion in damages for clients across the state. We have 11 office locations to better serve you, and you will never pay any of our legal fees unless and until we win your case!