In the initial moments and days after you’ve been in an automobile accident, you’re probably pre-occupied with a couple of big concerns, like;
Luckily, for a Philadelphia personal injury attorney, these are easy questions to answer.
1.) If you’ve purchased collision coverage for your vehicle, your car insurance company will pay for the repairs. Depending on the type of coverage that you’ve purchased, you will likely have to pay a deductible out-of-pocket to your car insurance company, after which they will cover the costs of the repairs. If a second vehicle was involved, that vehicle was insured at the time of the crash, and it is later determined between your car insurance company and their car insurance company that the other driver was at fault for causing this accident, the deductible that you have paid will be returned to you.
2.) If you were fortunate enough to not be taken from the scene by ambulance and are unsure about where to have yourself examined for potential injuries, the Emergency Department at the nearest hospital is a good option. The Emergency Department at a hospital does not require an appointment and is likely the place where you will be able to obtain the earliest evaluation of your condition. A second option is to contact your family doctor or general practitioner. While an appointment may take a few days to schedule, your family doctor or general practitioner will be more knowledgeable about your past medical history and provide you with a more personal evaluation. It is typically good practice to visit your family doctor or general practitioner even after having been evaluated at an Emergency Department so that your doctor is aware of any ongoing problems and able to give you the best advice regarding medical treatment and follow-up that is needed.
3.) After addressing the first two issues, however, the next most concerning issue is how you are going to pay for the medical treatment you may need. While all of us should, by law, maintain health insurance at this point, this is not always the case, and even when we have health insurance, it is still unclear what insurance information should be given to a hospital or a doctor’s office. There is then a concern regarding co-pays that will have to be paid, which can pile up and become a headache.
If you are involved in a car accident while driving in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the law provides that your car insurance company must provide you with a minimum of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) in No-Fault Benefits, also known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP). This means that the first Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) worth of medical treatment that you receive will be paid in full by your car insurance company. This requires that you report the accident to your insurance company, who will open a claim and provide you with a claim number. All you have to do then is provide your claim number to your medical providers, who will submit their bills to your car insurance company for payment, up to Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00). This is termed “no-fault” benefits because your car insurance company will pay these benefits regardless of whether the accident was your fault or not. Your car insurance company is responsible for paying these benefits even if the accident was not your fault.
No-fault benefits are important because you do not have to reimburse your car insurance company for these benefits. If, for instance, you use all of the Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) available to you from your car insurance company, you will be personally responsible for any medical bills that exceed the Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00). If you have health insurance, you will most likely have to reimburse your health insurance company for any medical expenses they pay on your behalf. So keep in mind that you have no fault benefits available to you! It is possible that you will receive all of the medical treatment that you need without using up all of your no-fault benefits – in that case, you will not have had to pay any money out of pocket for your medical expenses! Better yet, you can elect to purchase more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) in no fault benefits when you renew your car insurance policy and put your mind at ease that your medical expenses will be paid the next time that you are in a car accident.
The Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at Messa & Associates are experienced at handling personal injury cases involving serious injuries resulting from transportation and motor vehicle accidents. Our extremely skilled team of personal injury attorneys and medical experts is dedicated to ensuring you receive proper compensation for your personal injuries. If you have been injured in a car crash or other transportation accident, or have endured any other type of personal injury, contact the personal injury attorneys of Messa & Associates for a free consultation. Call toll free at 1-877-MessaLaw, or submit a free online inquiry.