Unfortunately, many car crash victims discover that it takes months or even years to obtain compensation for injuries caused in an accident. This can make matters challenging, however, because medical providers often want to obtain payment as soon as possible. Medical providers routinely refuse to treat people involved in car accidents, and those that do are under no obligation to wait to receive payment from the at-fault person. Consequently, accident victims are often left wondering how they will pay their medical bills while waiting for personal injury settlements or verdicts. There are several options that victims may have in these situations, which are explained below.
Filing a Claim Through Your Own Insurance Policy
Missouri is classified as an “at-fault” state, while Kansas takes a “no-fault” approach. This means that in Kansas, ever automobile policy is required to have PIP (Personal Injury Protection) benefits, which provide a minimum of $4,500.00 of coverage for medical bills. This means that if you are involved in an accident, regardless of fault, your own auto insurance pays for your medical bills (there are provisions for lost wages and other services as well), up to the amount of the limit of the PIP coverage. When the benefits are not duplicative, your auto insurance company in Kansas has the right to be reimbursed by that at-fault party’s insurance company. While Missouri doesn’t mandate PIP coverage, drivers can and should purchase optional medical payments coverage (MedPay). This type of coverage operates in the same way that PIP operates, with the exception that the auto insurance company has no subrogation right (i.e. it does not have a right to be reimbursed from the at-fault party’s insurance company).
In Kansas and other no-fault states, your insurance often plays the critical role of paying for some of your damages. No-fault insurance means that your own carrier will pay some or all of your medical bills if you end up in an accident regardless of who was responsible for the crash. No-fault insurance almost always pays up to the limits of no-fault coverage. After a victim’s bills exceed their states, a person is responsible for paying all of them. If your health insurance or on Medicare or a state-run health insurance program through Medicaid, this coverage will pay for the damage.
Med-Pay and Pip
“No-fault” insurance in Missouri is referred to as med-pay. Missouri drivers are not legally required to carry medical payment coverage, but this coverage is present on many Missouri car insurance policies. The amount of med-pay coverage ranges from $1,000 to $100,000.
Kansas utilized “no-fault” coverage referred to as personal injury protection, “PIP.” Drivers in Kansas are legally required to carry PIP. Drivers in Kansas must have at least $4,500 per individual in PIP. Many Kansas drivers, however, decide to carry more than the minimum amount. PIP in Kansas includes both coverage for medical care and reimbursement for lost income and expenses associated with your injury.
Both med-pay and PIP provide drivers with certain advantages including that this coverage can be used to pay medical bills promptly instead of waiting for the end of a case, which can take months or years.
Negotiating Payment Plans
Medical facilities are often willing to negotiate payment plans if a person is not able to pay the entirety of bills upfront. Sometimes hospitals receive lump-sum payments that are less than the full cost and end up erasing the remainder of the payment. In some cases, accident victims might decide to work out a settlement plan while they wait for compensation from an accident.
Speak With an Experienced Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been involved in a Missouri or Kansas car crash, you should not hesitate to speak with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer. Contact House Law LLC today to schedule a free case evaluation.