Many people do not realize that, in the state of Pennsylvania, if you have been in an accident and do not have health insurance, car insurance policies cover your initial medical costs, not health insurance policies. This coverage is provided regardless of fault in the accident.
Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law
Under the state Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law, car insurance premiums have certain medical expenses built into them. Thus, your car insurance company automatically covers certain medical expenses that are the result of a car accident.
Medical Expenses Covered Someone Else’s Insurance
There is also coverage for accident victims who do not own the vehicle in which they were injured. As long as you are a resident of Pennsylvania, your medical expenses can be covered by a relative’s car insurance, by the vehicle’s coverage, or by the other car (if they were at fault). This also applies outside of an accident involving two vehicles; for example, a vehicle that hits a bicyclist or pedestrian. The insurance coverage is also no-fault, meaning your bills must be covered up to a point regardless of whether you were at fault for the accident.
Insurers are required to include coverage providing medical benefits in the amount $5,000, meaning $5,000 is the minimum coverage for medical benefits under Pennsylvania state law. Once the insurance payment limits are reached, then health insurance covers medical bills, and if there is a lawsuit, these companies can be reimbursed. However, if you were not at fault, and you do not have health insurance, you can seek reimbursement for these expenses from a trial or settlement.
Pennsylvania law provides for what’s known as “limited tort” and “full tort” options. The limited tort option/form of insurance limits your rights (and anyone relying on the policy) to seek financial compensation for injuries caused by other drivers for medical and other out-of-pocket expenses except for pain and suffering, or other nonmonetary damages (unless they fall within the definition of a “serious injury”). Alternatively, full tort insurance provides you with an unrestricted right for yourself and others in your household to seek financial compensation for injuries caused by other drivers, which include all medical and other out-of-pocket expenses, as well as financial compensation for pain and suffering (and other nonmonetary damages) as a result of your injuries that were caused by another driver.
Experienced Attorneys Can Help Deal With Any Difficulties
It can sometimes be difficult to obtain reimbursement from insurance companies in a timely manner. In addition, if you do not have health insurance and your medical expenses exceed what the car insurance policy covers, you will need the assistance of an experienced auto accident attorney.
If you or someone you know may have been injured in a car accident, it is important to know your rights and how to ensure that any medical expenses you may have will be covered. The Pennsylvania car accident lawyers at Solnick & Associates represent victims of car accidents throughout the state of Pennsylvania. Contact us today for a free consultation.