You or a loved one may need extensive medical treatment after a car accident. These medical bills should be covered through your No-Fault insurance policy. If your bills go beyond the policy’s limits, you may need to bring a claim against the at-fault driver to recover your medical expenses.
The personal injury lawyers of Powers & Santola, LLP, have several decades of combined legal experience with New York auto accident cases. Contact us today to learn how we can help with your recovery after a crash in Albany, Syracuse or a surrounding community. Our goal is to ensure you get the medical treatment you need and the compensation you deserve.
Paying Medical Bills through No-Fault Insurance
The primary way to pay your medical bills after a car accident is through your No-Fault insurance, or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. You cannot register a vehicle in New York unless you have purchased this coverage.
No-Fault insurance will cover your “basic economic loss” up to $50,000, without the need to prove that another party was at fault for the crash. The coverage includes all “necessary expenses” for medical treatment. For instance, your policy should cover:
- Emergency medical treatment (ambulance)
- Diagnosis and initial medical care
- X-rays, MRIs and other tests
- Nursing services
- Prosthetic devices
- Prescription medications
- Therapy and rehabilitation (including mental health counseling, physical therapy and vocational rehabilitation)
- Any other professional medical services provided to you.
You should have an attorney closely review your No-Fault policy. You may have purchased additional coverage for your treatment and therapy.
Your medical care provider may bill your No-Fault insurer directly or send you the bills. If you file a claim with your insurer to have your medical expenses reimbursed, you must submit written proof of the claim within 45 days after the medical services are provided. A car accident attorney can help you with making sure your claim is properly and timely filed.
Your insurer must pay your claim within 30 days after it is submitted. If the insurer fails to do so, you may need to take your case to arbitration or to court. Your lawyer will help you to resolve any disputes that arise with your insurer.
Note: Medical expenses are not the only type of “first-party benefit” provided through No-Fault insurance. You can also be reimbursed for:
- 80 percent of your lost earnings due to your injuries (limited to $2,000 per month and a three-year period)
- Up to $25 per day for other reasonable and necessary expenses arising from your accident-related injuries (such as transportation to receive medical treatment).
You should know that the amount of first-party benefits you receive will be offset by any Social Security Disability or worker’s compensation benefits you receive.
What If Your Medical Bills Exceed What No-Fault Insurance Covers?
Medical expenses can quickly add up. This is especially true if one has suffered multiple fractures, disfigurement, dismemberment, traumatic brain injury (TBI), severe spinal cord injury (SCI) or other catastrophic damage after a crash.
If you are covered by a No-Fault insurance policy, you can bring a claim to recover the amount in excess of your $50,000 basic economic loss against one or more other parties who may have caused your crash. Your claim can include a recovery of all past and future medical expenses.
Unlike a No-Fault insurance claim, you would need to establish the other party was at fault, or negligent. Your case would be resolved through a settlement with that party’s liability insurance provider, or it could go to court.
In some cases, you may need to turn to your own insurance policy to pay for your losses. For instance, if the other driver has no insurance or has insurance that fails to fully cover your medical bills, you may need to file an uninsured or underinsured (UM or UIM) claim.
How Can A Personal Injury Lawyer Help with Your Medical Expenses?
A personal injury lawyer can play an important role in ensuring you receive the medical care you need without being saddled with expenses you don’t deserve. An attorney can:
- Make sure your No-Fault insurance claims are properly and timely filed
- Resolve disputes with your No-Fault insurer through arbitration or court
- Investigate your case to determine if another party should be held liable
- Negotiate with the other party’s insurer for a full and fair settlement
- Take your case to trial (if needed)
- Ensure any outstanding medical bills or claims on your recovery are resolved.
Get Help Today from a Albany Personal Injury Lawyer
When you or a loved one has been seriously hurt in a car accident in Albany, Syracuse or elsewhere in New York, the last thing you should worry about is paying your medical bills. Contact Powers & Santola, LLP. Our lawyers will work hard to seek the coverage you deserve for all of your medical expenses.
Sources / More Information
- New York State Department of Financial Services – An explanation of important changes to the state’s No-Fault insurance laws brought about by Regulation 68.