Who pays the ambulance bill if I get in an auto accident?
Many people refuse important emergency care right after an auto accident because they are afraid of the resulting ambulance and medical bills. This guide’s purpose is to help you understand who pays your ambulance and emergency room bills if you get in a car accident along with other benefits.
Will I have a $1,500 ambulance bill mailed to my house after an auto accident?Not if you have auto insurance.
Most people have no idea that you already paid for your own medical care through your auto insurance premiums.
This particular benefit is called "PIP" -- or "Personal Injury Protection" coverage. It is also referred to as "no fault insurance coverage."
Under Utah law you have this coverage included with your auto insurance coverage UNLESS you affirmatively opt out. If you opted out, your insurance company must keep your opt out signature on file.
How much coverage do I have with my PIP benefit?Under Utah law, the minimum amount your auto insurance provider must provide is $3,000 worth of medical bills. This means that if your ambulance bill was $1,200 and your emergency room bill was $1,600 you will not have to pay any out-of-pocket money for the care you received. You would still have another $200 for followup care, if needed.
Your insurance carrier may offer a $5,000 or $10,000 PIP policy for a few extra bucks a month. Many people find the extra amount they spend for a higher PIP policy is worth it for the piece of mind if they are in an accident.
How do I make sure my PIP benefit gets used? Won't they try to bill my health insurance?You must remember to fill out a PIP application form provided by your auto insurance carrier. Obviously you will not be thinking about this right after an auto accident. Many times the emergency medical personnel will know that you've been in an auto accident and will ask for your auto insurance information after you are in a better place to communicate.
Your health insurance wont be billed until you exhaust your PIP coverage. Once your $3,000 coverage has exhausted, your health insurance will kick in under your typical policy agreements.
What if the accident wasn't my fault? Why should my insurance pay for someone else's negligence?This is the best thing about PIP coverage. Your auto insurance must pay your bills even if the accident was not your fault. In other words, they are not allowed to hold you hostage and prevent you from receiving the care you need if someone else caused the accident.
If the at fault driver has auto insurance, your auto insurance carrier will be reimbursed their full amount from the at fault driver's carrier. This is done behind the scenes and you won't have to be the one to clean up the mess.
Do my PIP benefits give me anything else besides $3,000 of medical coverage?Yes. Your PIP can pay you up to $250 per week if you are unable to work as a result of the auto accident.
Also, you are eligible to receive $20 per day for household services if you are unable to do things around the house like you normally would and somebody had to assist you.
In the unfortunate event that somebody passes away, your auto insurance carrier will pay up to $1,500 for funeral and/or cremation services. The heirs of the deceased are also entitled to receive a total of $3,000.
What if I don't have health insurance after my PIP coverage exhausts?Many health providers will help you receive the treatment you need by setting up a lien. Medical providers are able to do chiropractic work, physical therapy, MRI's, x-rays, and even surgery, if needed.
An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to help you get set up with a medical lien.