One of the most common questions our clients ask us during their initial consultation is regarding payment of medical bills. They wonder who will be paying the bills if they are unable to do so themselves out of pocket until their case is resolved. Financial matters are always valid concerns, but in this case, you don’t need to worry, especially while you are still recovering after a car accident. There are several avenues to cover your medical costs while your case works its way through the legal system.
Personal Injury Protection
All Florida drivers are required by law to have at least $10,000 in personal injury coverage. If you are injured in a car accident (regardless of whether you are at fault), your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage will pay 80 percent of your medical bills up to $10,000.00. PIP will also pay 60 percent of your lost wages.
Medical Insurance Coverage After an Auto Accident
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Medical Payments Coverage is an optional form of insurance coverage that can be purchased to cover the 20 percent of the medical bills that personal injury protection (PIP) coverage does not pay.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Although not legally required in the state of Florida, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is a valuable addition to your auto insurance plan, and it is relatively affordable to add. This type of coverage protects you against other drivers who don’t have insurance, as well as those whose coverage is insufficient for your medical costs. This coverage can help fill in any gaps left by the other driver’s policy. It is smart to maximize your coverage as much as you can afford to, as this will provide you with the greatest protection in the event of an accident. The maximum this type of coverage will pay out will depend on the specific details of your policy.
Health Insurance Coverage
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After you have exhausted the financial resources of the first two options, you can opt to use your own health insurance plan to help cover the costs. Your insurance provider can help you understand the details of what percentage and what total dollar amount your policy will cover, as well as any deductible that may be in effect. Of course, this may require some out-of-pocket expenses for you, but your final settlement in your case will typically be more than enough to pay yourself back.
Letter of Protection
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If you find that you are still unable to handle your medical expenses through the above methods, there is one final option available to you, known as a letter of protection. Your Florida attorney and healthcare provider will work together to prepare this document. Essentially, it is an agreement that you will not have to pay any medical bills for your ongoing care while your case is still in process. This way, you can use your settlement to cover the costs after the fact, rather than having to be able to put the money upfront.
While this may seem like an attractive option, it is typically only used as a last resort. Your Florida attorney will also need to determine that you have a strong case that you are likely to win. Otherwise, you could find yourself with a hefty medical bill later on. Keep in mind that under a letter of protection, if there is no settlement in the case, you will still be responsible to pay the medical providers for any unpaid balances.
Get Help with Your Car Accident Case
If you have been involved in an accident in Florida, the team at Andrew Pickett Law is here to help.
We have handled countless car accident cases, so we know exactly how to work with insurance companies and healthcare providers to get your bills paid while awaiting the outcome of your case. We welcome you to get in touch with us to learn more about how we can help you get the compensation you deserve after your car accident. Contact us today. Start with a free, no-obligation consultation to review the details of your case.