Who Covers Medical Bills After an NC Car Accident?
Sept. 16, 2022
In the aftermath of a car accident, there is a LOT to worry about – from paying for medical treatment to your car insurance coverage to a potential personal injury lawsuit.
One of the most significant causes of anxiety for most of our clients is their medical bill payment.
Coverage of medical expenses following an accident depends on several factors – who caused the wreck, what kind of insurance each party has purchased, and more!
Who Pays Medical Bills if The Other Driver Is Responsible for The Accident?
If you were injured in a car accident and another person caused that accident out of their own negligence, the negligent (or at-fault) person must cover your medical bills.
ALL North Carolina drivers are required to have bodily liability car insurance. This insurance covers an injured party’s medical expenses in the case of a motor vehicle accident caused by the NC driver. Basic bodily liability insurance covers up to $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident.
So, this is the kind of potential compensation you can expect at minimum if the other driver is at-fault.
However, you will only receive this medical bill coverage if – and when – you (and your experienced NC Personal Injury Lawyer) reach a settlement with the opposing driver and their insurance company.
But remember, obtaining a personal injury settlement can take several months. Until a settlement is reached, YOU are still responsible for your medical expenses.
That may mean you first have to submit your medical bills to YOUR OWN health insurance company (like usual) and reimburse your insurance organization later with your settlement money.
NOTE: In North Carolina, you also have the option of MedPay insurance (through your own insurance agency) – which may cover out-of-pocket health care costs (i.e. co-pays and deductibles) for you and other injured passengers of your care.
Interested in MedPay? Robert Louis Armstrong can help you secure the insurance you need!
Who Covers Medical Bills if You Are At-Fault?
North Carolina is a pure contributory negligence state. That means you cannot recover personal injury damages if you contributed to your injury in ANY way.
So, even if a judge decides you are 1% at-fault, you may not receive injury compensation.
If it’s been decided that you are responsible for the car accident, your bodily liability car insurance will kick into action, covering any medical bills of the other driver and passengers.
As for YOUR medical bills (and those of your passengers), you will most likely need to use your own health insurance and/or MedPay insurance.
What Happens when The At-Fault Party Is Uninsured or Does Not Have Enough Insurance to Pay Medical Bills?
Many people are unaware that Uninsured Motorist Coverage – insurance that covers you, your passengers, and your vehicle if the at-fault party does NOT have car insurance – is mandatory in North Carolina.
Even if the responsible driver has the lowest level of bodily liability insurance, some form of Underinsured Motorist Coverage may be required for your car insurance policy.
Learn more about Underinsured & Uninsured Motorist Coverage.
First-Things-First: Get Immediate Medical Care
Seeking immediate medical treatment following a motor vehicle accident is essential.
There are a couple of reasons for this…
The longer you wait to get treatment, the more difficult it will be to prove definitively that your injuries were caused directly by the vehicle accident.
Plus, if you do not seek medical attention immediately, you are putting your health and wellness at risk.
IF YOU DO NOT HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE, you may not be able to pay for medical treatment for any personal injuries acquired during an accident until you have received a settlement – which can take a long time.
Regardless, you SHOULD NOT avoid seeking quick medical care simply because you do not want to (or cannot) pay your medical bills up-front.
In North Carolina, medical care providers can claim a medical lien that gives them the right to compensation for your care if you win a personal injury settlement.
Robert L. Armstrong | North Carolina Personal Injury Attorney
Have you or a loved one been injured as a result of a car accident? It’s crucial for you to consult with an experienced NC attorney who can help you determine the true value of your case.
Contact Robert Armstrong’s office today for a FREE consultation!