Many times the first thing a person injured in a car accident in Vermont asks me is how do the medical bills get paid. We have a confusing system in Vermont for the payment of medical bills incurred by people injured in a personal injury, negligence or car accident matter that doesn’t necessarily make sense or is understood by doctors, hospitals and other medical care providers.
The other driver’s insurance company does not have to pay for the medical bills an injured person incurs for treatment related to a car accident even when the negligent driver is completely at fault. They only have to pay when the case is settled which could be months or years after the date of the crash. In addition to compensation for the medical bills this could include money for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of the daily activities of life, lost wages or earnings and permanent impairment.
The primary insurance is through medical payments coverage which is no fault type insurance. If you get in a car accident, you may be able to get your medical bills covered – even if you are at fault. Most Vermont car insurance policies have Medical Payment (Med Pay) coverage.
If you bought a car insurance policy with Med Pay coverage, or if the car in which you were hurt had Med Pay insurance, Med Pay will pay your medical bills up to a per person limit. There are no co-pays and no deductibles. If you have this insurance, you can and should use it to help pay your medical costs due to injuries from a Vermont car accident. Many times people don’t know the have med pay and are pleasantly surprised when they find out they do have med pay to take care of the medical bills.
Vermont law prohibits your car insurance company from raising your rates because you used your medical payment coverage. It is what is call a non ratable occurrence.
If you don’t have med pay or once it’s used up you then look to your own health insurance. And if you have neither the medical care providers typically will have to wait until you settle up with the wrongdoing driver’s insurance company. I typically take care of this when the case settles so my client’s medical bills don’t go to a collection agency. One other thing to keep in mind is that both the med pay insurance company as well as health insurance companies including private companies like BCBS as well as Medicare and Medicaid have subrogation and lien rights. That means they have to paid back when you settle up with the other driver’s insurance company. Please call me at 802-888-7707 for a free consultation about your car accident.