Who will pay my medical bills until my case is settled?
If you are hurt in an accident because of someone else, you probably want to know who will pay for your medical treatment. While it is great to get a settlement or verdict at trial, this will not help you pay the pile of medical bills you have on your kitchen table today.
What is important to understand is that after the accident, you generally need to pay for the medical bills as they come in. Even if the person who caused your injuries is clearly at fault, they are under no legal obligation to pay your bills as they are incurred. The only thing that is required under the law is they must pay damages to resolve a lawsuit. In most personal injury cases, medical bills are a substantial part of the damages you incur.
If the accident occurred in a non ‘no-fault’ state, you will usually need to pay for your medical bills as they come in. But some drivers in non no-fault states do have medical payment insurance coverage; this is referred to as ‘med pay coverage. This is coverage that pays medical bills of drivers or passengers that were involved in a car accident with the insured party, up to the policy limits on the med pay policy. After the medical bills go over that amount, you are responsible for paying them. But note that med pay coverage is not always required. So if neither you or the other driver have this coverage, you would have to pay your medical bills out of pocket until a settlement or verdict.
In a no-fault state, your own auto insurance company will pay some or all of your medical costs if you are in an accident no matter who was at fault. In some no-fault states, there is a top limit on what your own insurance company will pay; the limit is usually $10,000 or less. After your medical bills have exceeded the limit, you will need to pay for your bills. Or, your healthcare insurance company will need to pay them.