If you have been injured in an auto accident because of somebody else’s negligence, you may be taken aback by the number of medical bills that you now face. Chances are you are probably looking at all possible avenues to help cover your medical expenses. You may have health insurance, and you may ultimately hope to be compensated by the negligent driver’s insurance. However, there may be another potential source of compensation for your bills. Depending on your policy, your auto insurance may cover medical expenses through what is known as Medical Payments Coverage or MedPay.
What Is MedPay?
MedPay is a type of auto insurance to which you can submit your medical bills if you have been injured in a car accident. It is not the same as general health insurance, which can compensate you for your medical bills for a variety of illnesses and injuries. MedPay is a potential means to help pay for medical expenses that you have incurred for your injuries in a covered auto accident.
MedPay is not auto liability insurance, which is designed to compensate other people you have injured in an auto accident for which you were at fault. A MedPay policy is an option to have your own medical bills paid for your auto accident injuries, whether or not you were at fault, with a potential right of subrogation (reimbursement for money paid out) by the policyholder if/when you seek recovery from the at-fault party. Each right of subrogation depends upon the individual MedPay policy. Please consult an attorney for more information.
In many cases, after putting your auto accident medical bills through your health insurance, you can potentially use your MedPay to cover the costs of the deductibles, co-pays, and some out-of-pocket expenses.
Why Not Just Have My Auto Insurance Cover Medical Expenses?
While MedPay auto insurance can cover medical expenses for your car accident, there are limits. Illinois does not require auto insurance policies to include MedPay coverage, so if you don’t actually have it, you cannot get your medical expenses reimbursed.
Moreover, even if you have MedPay coverage on your auto insurance policy, it may not be nearly enough to pay for your medical treatment. In fact, some insurance policies can include MedPay coverage with policy limits as low as $1,000.00, which can easily be exhausted by the ambulance ride to the emergency room, leaving you high and dry for the emergency room visit itself and any follow-up treatment.
So while MedPay can be a useful tool, it will often prove insufficient to cover the medical treatment you need, particularly in the case of a serious or even catastrophic accident. In cases where you have been wrongfully injured by another driver, you will likely be better served by going after that driver’s liability insurance coverage through a personal injury claim.
But pursuing a personal injury claim is no automatic guarantee of success. It is in the financial interest of insurance companies to pay out as little as possible for each claim, and insurance adjusters almost certainly have far more experience in dealing with these types of claims than you do. This may even be your first car accident, but it is probably not the insurance adjuster’s, who will likely have negotiated hundreds of car accident claims or more, many that are very much like yours.
The adjuster may try to take advantage of your relative inexperience and propose a settlement offer that might seem reasonable to you but may actually represent pennies on the dollar of the actual value of your case. Moreover, the adjuster can simply deny liability entirely, preying upon your relative ignorance of the law in the hopes that you abandon your claim out of sheer frustration.
When faced with such obstacles, many wrongfully injured people try to level the playing field by seeking out experienced legal counsel, the type of counsel that they would receive from the car accident lawyers at GWC.
GWC is one of the leading Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation law firms in Illinois, with over $2 billion recovered for our clients and offices throughout the state.
If you have been injured, contact GWC to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an attorney. Please call our office at (312) 464-1234 or click here to chat with a representative at any time.