One of the most daunting aspects of being involved in a New York car accident is the prospect of paying numerous medical bills. Treating significant injuries comes at a price. Unfortunately, many accident victims worry about how they will cover the cost of their treatment when they should focus on recovering from the accident. After a New York collision, how do you pay for your medical bills?
At Finz & Finz, P.C., we know the mental stress that can come from managing the cost of your medical bills post-accident. A crash can suddenly cause immense financial instability and uncertainty in a person’s life. Where can you turn for help figuring out how you can cover the cost of your medical expenses after an accident? Our legal team can help answer your questions.
What Is New York’s No-Fault Car Insurance System?
Are you wondering how to pay your medical bills after a New York car collision? Start by examining your car insurance policy. New York follows a no-fault car insurance system. Under a no-fault system, drivers in car accidents turn to their own insurance provider for compensation for their injuries and financial losses. This system differs from a traditional fault-based model where drivers seek compensation from the at-fault driver or their insurer.
Part of New York’s no-fault insurance structure is requiring all registered vehicle owners to carry personal injury protection insurance. PIP benefits can help cover an injured person’s reasonable and necessary medical expenses. One of the benefits of no-fault insurance is that you should be able to get your policy’s benefits more quickly than if you were to pursue compensation from the other driver’s insurance.
How Does PIP Insurance Coverage Work?
In a no-fault state like New York, PIP coverage helps injured individuals recover compensation for their medical expenses following an accident, regardless of which driver is responsible for causing the crash. New York PIP policies must cover the following up to their $50,000 limit:
- Payment for reasonable and necessary medical expenses following an accident
- Reasonable expenses like household help and transportation to medical appointments, up to $25 per day
- Up to 80 percent of lost earnings from work
Additionally, they will cover up to $2,000 in death benefits in the event the policyholder passes away from their injuries.
While all PIP policies in New York have a $50,000 policy limit, consumers can purchase additional PIP coverage for a nominal price. This extends coverage to $100,000, providing additional peace of mind in the event of a serious accident.
Additional Ways to Cover Your Medical Expenses
Most accident victims’ next logical question is, what happens if my medical expenses outpace my PIP policy coverage limits? Unfortunately, when a person suffers devastating injuries after an accident, their medical expenses can quickly exceed their PIP policy, even if they purchased additional PIP coverage. That means the injured individual is on the hook for the rest of their medical treatment and additional medical expenses.
Sometimes, your health insurance coverage can pick up the slack and help pay for medical bills accumulated following an accident.
If you use up your PIP coverage, you can sue the at-fault party for your additional economic losses. Economic losses are those that have an assigned dollar value, like medical expenses and lost wages. However, they cannot sue for non-economic losses, which cover intangible things like pain and suffering.
To be able to sue an at-fault party for these non-economic losses, an accident victim must have suffered injuries that meet the state’s “serious injury threshold.” This law defines a serious injury as any one of the following:
- Bone fractures
- Loss of a fetus
- Permanent limitation of a body organ or limb
- Significant disfigurement
- A significant limitation of the use of a body part or organ system
In some situations, you can file a lawsuit with the help of a personal injury lawyer when an impairment is not permanent. However, the injury must be significant enough to prevent you from performing all your daily activities for at least ninety days for 180 days following an accident.
What Is Subrogation?
Subrogation allows an insurance company to seek reimbursement for money they paid for your accident-related expenses from the party who caused them. Once your insurer has paid your PIP benefits, through subrogation, they have the right to “stand in the insured’s shoes,” which means they can pursue repayment from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
For subrogation to be available, another party must be at fault for the injured person’s injuries and losses. If you caused your own injuries and your PIP policy pays, your insurer has nowhere to turn for subrogation.
Why You Need an Experienced New York Car Accident Attorney Working for You
Whether negotiating with your insurance company or considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, you need an aggressive and experienced legal team to help you prove your case and obtain maximum compensation for your accident-related losses. Fighting for what’s right is never easy, especially when coping with devastating car accident injuries. An attorney can advocate for you, collect evidence, and build a claim that has the best chance of getting the money you need for your treatment and continued care.
Unfortunately, in no-fault car insurance states, many motorists think that since they are working with their own provider, they’ll get everything they need. That is not always the case. The insurance company is rarely your friend. Before you accept money from anyone, even your provider, talk to a skilled New York car accident lawyer about the circumstances of your case. An attorney can review your situation and help you understand the best methods for seeking compensation for your medical bills.
Reach Out to a Knowledgeable New York Car Accident Attorney for Assistance
Do you need help paying your medical bills after a New York car accident? The legal team at Finz & Finz, P.C. can help. We’ll take the time to review the specifics of your case and outline the best options for recovering the compensation you need to cover your medical bills and future treatment expenses.
Contact our New York office at 855-TOP-FIRM as soon as possible for more information and to arrange a free case evaluation.