Why Does my Auto Insurance pay for my Medical Bills if the Other Driver was at Fault?
Florida requires all drivers to carry personal injury protection insurance coverage. Personal injury protection insurance is sometimes referred to as “no–fault” insurance. This is because your personal injury protection coverage will pay for 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages up to $10,000.00 no matter who was at fault for causing the car accident.
The Florida Legislature first passed the personal injury protection law in 1976. The law was designed to decrease the amount of lawsuits being filed for car accidents, many of which were necessary simply to obtain reimbursement for medical bills.
Importantly, making a personal injury protection claim on your auto insurance will not increase your insurance rates as long as you were not at fault for causing the accident. Furthermore, it is important to use your personal injury protection insurance to pay your medical bills instead of your health insurance. This is because, in the event you make a financial recovery from the at fault party(ies), you do not have to reimburse your auto insurer for the medical expenses it incurred, but you would have to reimburse your health insurer for such expenses.
In order to be entitled to the full $10,000.00 of your personal injury protection benefits, it is necessary that you see a medical provider within fourteen days of the accident. Further, that medical provider must diagnose you with an “emergency medical condition.” Otherwise, you will be limited to $2,500.00 of personal injury protection benefits.
If you do not own a car, you will be entitled to the personal injury protection coverage for the person in whose car you were riding or driving. If you were a pedestrian or riding a bicycle when you were struck by a car, and you did not own a car, then you would be entitled to personal injury protection coverage from the driver of the car that hit you.
The 20% of your medical bills not paid by personal injury protection coverage may be paid by you or by your health insurer. Often, medical providers will agree to hold the unpaid 20% part of their bill until you are able to settle your personal injury claim.
The 20% of unpaid medical bills and the 40% of unpaid wages will be owed to you by the at fault driver or the owner of the car being driven by the at-fault driver. If the at fault driver has bodily injury insurance coverage, then these amounts will be paid by the insurer in addition to compensation for pain and suffering, future medical expenses and future lost wages.
If you have health insurance and expect to miss a lot of time from work you can reserve much of your personal injury protection coverage to pay for lost wages.
If you have any questions about your personal injury protection coverage in relation to a car accident that happened in the Jacksonville or Northeast Florida area, please call our Jacksonville car accident attorneys. Consultations are always free.