If you are injured in an automobile accident, your top priority should be getting the treatment you need to recover and heal. It is difficult, however, to ignore the medical costs that may accumulate with your doctor appointments and healthcare visits. This post should help you understand how to think about medical bills following an auto accident.
You Or Your Insurance Must Bear Initial Costs
Initially, you or your health insurance carrier will have to pay your medical bills, even if the accident is another person’s fault. Nevertheless, it is imperative to understand the various players ultimately responsible for your injuries and the medical treatment associated with your accident. Not only do you want to protect your right to full compensation for the damages you sustained, but your health insurance carrier also has an interest in reimbursement for payments it made on your behalf.
Car Accident Insurance Coverage in Wisconsin
The following common types of auto insurance coverage may be available to pay your medical bills if you are injured in a car accident in Wisconsin:
1. Medical Payments Coverage (Med Pay): Drivers are not required to have Med Pay insurance, although it is common for drivers to have a small amount of coverage. Wisconsin requires insurance companies to offer Med Pay to their insureds, and policies must carry a minimum limit of $1,000 unless rejected. Med Pay will pay medical costs resulting from car accident regardless of the driver at fault. Because the limits are usually modest, additional compensation from other sources will be needed.
2. The At-Fault Driver’s Liability Insurance: If another driver caused the accident and your injuries, or if you were the passenger in a car of an at-fault driver, the at-fault driver’s liability insurance should cover your medical expenses, as well as other losses you sustained. Wisconsin drivers are required to have a minimum of $25,000 per one person, or $50,000 for an occurrence involving more than one person, in liability insurance coverage.
3. Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM & UIM): UM and UIM coverage comes into play when the at-fault driver does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover all of your medical bills and other losses. UM and UIM coverage would be found in your own auto insurance policy. Like liability insurance, Wisconsin requires drivers to carry UM coverage, with minimums of $25,000 per person or $50,000 per accident. UIM insurance is not required in Wisconsin, but if you have it, UIM insurance can offer additional compensation for medical bills and other expenses, assuming the other driver’s insurance is insufficient.
Properly Assess the Total Impact on Your Health & Finances
Knowing the potential responsible parties for your medical bills is only one piece of the puzzle in resolving your personal injury case. It is important to get the care you need to address your injuries, which could involve long-term recovery time and/or long-term effects on your physical abilities. You also want to make sure all your losses (past and future) have been accounted for before settling with the insurers.
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