When you have been injured in a car accident, you will incur medical expenses and doctor’s bills. A common question is, “How are those bills going to be paid?” the ultimate answer is, “It depends.”
While the insurance company for the at-fault driver might be ultimately responsible, the obligation to pay the bills rests with you. In many cases, you can seek compensation for these bills later, but until damages are paid to you, you could be on the hook.
For a free review of your accident case, call the Maryland car accident attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras today at (410) 694-7291.
Medical Bills in Maryland Are Your Responsibility
It is essential to understand that the obligation to pay any medical bills and expenses associated with a car accident in Maryland falls on you.
It is your responsibility to see that your healthcare providers are paid – though where the money comes from will depend on the circumstances surrounding your accident. No matter the circumstances, the legal responsibility is yours.
Medical Expenses After a Car Accident in Maryland
Fortunately, there is a fault system for car insurance in Maryland. Theoretically, any expenses or damages incurred in a car accident are the responsibility of the driver who caused the crash or injuries.
Typically, this will be paid for by their insurance provider up to their policy limit. If uninsured, then the at-fault driver could be held personally liable.
However, there is a timing problem. The insurance provider for the at-fault driver is not legally obligated to pay any medical bills or expenses until a settlement is reached – either through an agreement directly with the insurance company or through a court judgment.
You only have one opportunity to agree to a settlement, so sometimes, it is tempting to agree to a lower amount as your bills begin to pile up.
Our office highly recommends against this, as it does not afford you compensation for future or ongoing medical costs. Calculating the actual cost of your accident could take months or even years.
Maryland Car Insurance and Medical Bills After an Accident
While Maryland does have a fault system, it also permits drivers to have additional coverage known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP). PIP is “no-fault” add-on coverage that is usually included in your insurance package unless you explicitly waive the coverage.
PIP coverage is designed to pay medical bills and a substantial portion of any lost income.
Anytime someone submits a claim to an insurance provider, they immediately fear that their premiums will increase. This is not the case in
Maryland with PIP coverage. PIP coverage was designed specifically to provide the insured with a method to recover costs after a car accident without feeling the pressure of additional monthly expenses or the need to accept an unfair settlement agreement. PIP also affords an at-fault driver the same protections.
Any medical bills and expenses you incur after a car accident should be submitted to your insurance company and paid through your PIP coverage. However, PIP coverage is limited, usually covering only $2,500 – though this depends on your policy.
If your insurance provider offers a higher PIP amount, it might be a good idea to opt for additional coverage.
It is important to note that along with medical costs, PIP coverage extends to lost wages. Therefore, you might consider submitting medical claims to your health insurance company and using the PIP coverage for your lost income.
If you do not have PIP coverage, or it has been exhausted, then your medical bills should be submitted directly to your personal health insurance provider. You will likely have to pay a deductible or co-pay, depending on your specific insurance coverage.
In the unfortunate event, you do not have health insurance, then you will be legally responsible for any medical bills until a settlement agreement is reached.
The At-Fault Driver is Eventually Liable for Your Medical Bills After a Maryland Car Accident
Ensuring your medical bills are paid is your responsibility. However, as stated above, the at-fault driver is liable for all medical bills and damages arising from a car accident.
Our law office, when calculating your damages, will include all the medical costs you incurred, including any payments made through your PIP coverage or health insurance provider and any co-pays and deductibles you paid for out of pocket.
An at-fault driver’s responsibilities are not diminished because you have good insurance coverage.
It is also important to note here that once you have received your settlement recovery, you are not obligated to pay your PIP insurance provider back for the payments they made.
However, any payments made through your health insurance company will have to be partially reimbursed.
If You Are Incurring Medical Bills Due to a Car Accident, Call Our Maryland Attorney to Schedule a Free Case Review
In the end, despite any liability claim you could raise, the legal obligation to pay any medical expenses or doctor’s bills rests solely on you.
If you were injured in a car accident in Maryland, you will have to submit your medical expenses to your PIP insurance company and your health insurance provider. Additionally, you will have to pay any co-pays or deductibles.
However, if you want to be appropriately compensated for your losses, you need the representation of our experienced Baltimore car accident injury attorneys.
We are dedicated to assisting injured individuals fight for their just compensation – this includes negotiating a fair settlement or taking your claim to court.
Maryland personal injury law is complicated, and you need a seasoned lawyer working hard for your best interests. Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras today at (410) 694-7291 for a free case review.