Paying Your Medical Bills After an Accident in Tampa, Florida
Figuring out how to pay for your medical expenses after a car accident in Florida can be a daunting task. The state’s no-fault auto insurance laws provide some financial protection for you, but will your benefits be enough if you’re seriously injured? Are there other options?
Here’s your answer: It depends. The party who pays your medical bills after a car crash is dictated by various factors, such as the severity of your injuries, the details of your car insurance policy, and your health insurance coverage. You may need to take legal action to pursue the compensation you deserve.
At Brooks Law Group, we know that paying your medical bills is one of many concerns you probably have in the aftermath of a crash. You shouldn’t be left on the hook for excess medical costs if someone else is responsible for your injuries. Get a Tampa car accident attorney from our firm on your case right away.
Our lawyers have decades of experience securing top-dollar verdicts and settlements for clients throughout Central Florida. Let us fight for you, too. Call or contact us now for a free and confidential consultation.
Who Is Responsible for Medical Bills After a Car Accident?
Florida is a no-fault insurance state. This means that your personal injury protection (PIP) benefits will be the first line of payment for your medical expenses, no matter who caused the car crash. PIP benefits cover 80 percent of your medical costs. That means you must shell out a 20 percent co-pay for treatment after a collision.
Depending on your service provider, you may be responsible for making these co-pays up front. An experienced car accident lawyer may be able to negotiate a payment plan with your health care providers to lower your out-of-pocket expenses as you recover.
To apply your PIP coverage to your medical expenses, you must see a medical provider within 14 days of the accident. If you fail to see a doctor within two weeks, you will not be able to access your PIP coverage.
Florida’s no-fault laws outline the types of medical services that PIP insurance covers, including:
- Hospital, nursing, and ambulance services
- Medical, x-ray, dental, surgical, and rehabilitative services
- Follow-up care
There are additional requirements you must meet to apply the coverage, such as:
- Having a doctor’s order for medical treatment of injuries
- Seeking treatment from facilities that are medically licensed
- Not applying coverage to injuries inflicted due to self-harm or when committing a felony
If you have health insurance, such as Medicare, Medicaid, employer-provided, or private insurance, it likely applies to your medical treatment after a car wreck. That said, you will still be responsible for any co-pays and deductibles. Unfortunately, health insurance often fails to cover every service you need. For example, if you ride to the hospital in an ambulance but your health insurance refuses to cover it, you may have to pay out-of-pocket.
MedPay is an optional benefit that helps cover car accident expenses in Florida. MedPay covers the PIP co-pay up to $2,000. Depending on your coverage, you might also be able to use MedPay for costs that PIP insurance does not reimburse.
Do I Have Options If I Have Excess Expenses Beyond My No-Fault Limits?
There is an exception to Florida’s no-fault law: the serious injury threshold. This allows car crash victims to recover compensation for pain and suffering when their injuries specific legal requirements.
There are four categories of injuries that meet the standard and allow you to seek compensation above the amount provided by your no-fault insurance carrier. These are:
- Significant and permanent loss of bodily function
- Permanent injury
- Scarring or disfigurement
Car accident victims are typically limited to recovering compensation from their PIP no-fault insurance policies. But when these threshold standards are met, you can bring a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver.
What to Do If You Can’t Pay Your Medical Bills
In Florida, if you receive treatment after a car accident within 14 days of the accident and you have car insurance, your car insurance will pay a significant portion of your medical bills. However, your insurance will not pay more than $10,000. Many car crash victims — even those with injuries where a full recovery is expected — end up owing well beyond this amount. A successful personal injury claim against the liable party could prevent them from paying the outstanding balance.
If this situation applies to you, a good car accident attorney can negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurance company for a full and fair settlement that takes all of your losses into account. If you purchased additional uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, you could also negotiate with your insurer to pay more than $10,000.
Identifying the best way to get your medical bills paid after an accident is what car accident lawyers do every day. An experienced lawyer will review your insurance policy and work to get you the treatment you need without undue financial hardship. At Brooks Law Group, we are familiar with the billing practices of hospitals in the Tampa area and can help you understand your options.
How a Florida Car Accident Attorney Can Help
The experienced Tampa car accident lawyers at Brooks Law Group can evaluate your case for free. If you work with us, we can communicate with your healthcare providers, the insurance company and work to secure the evidence necessary to build a convincing case for maximum compensation.
Though you may feel a sense of security knowing that your no-fault insurer will cover at least a portion of your medical costs, keep in mind that there’s no guarantee that you’ll still get a fair deal from your insurance company. They may argue that your injuries were not an emergency or that your provider did not meet their qualifications to treat you. In those cases, it’s critical to seek guidance from an attorney as soon as possible.
Whether your questions are simple are complex, we’ve got the answers and experience needed to get you back on your feet after a car accident in Tampa. Find out more about we can help with your mounting medical bills. Contact Brooks Law Group now for a free initial consultation.