In the event of an accident-related injury, medical payments coverage (MedPay) steps in to pay for your medical costs up to the policy limit. This convenient coverage applies even when the accident isn’t your fault. Seeking compensation from the at-fault driver can take time, and MedPay is a way to cover your initial medical expenses.
If your injuries are severe and your MedPay coverage isn’t enough, you may wonder how to manage the rest of your medical costs. Let’s dive into the available options for handling medical bills while you or your Columbus car accident lawyer pursue a settlement or court award.
Is Ohio a No-Fault State?
Even though your MedPay coverage applies regardless of fault, Ohio is not a no-fault state. Instead, it operates as an at-fault car insurance state, which means that a driver who causes an accident may bear financial responsibility for the resulting injuries to others.
However, even if the at-fault driver has the liability coverage required by state law, an innocent injured party might still have to pay their own medical bills until they settle with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Should I Use My Own Health Insurance While Waiting for a Settlement?
If you are fortunate enough to have health insurance, it should be your primary resource for covering your medical treatment. Simply furnish your doctor or hospital with the necessary information, and they will bill your health insurance provider.
If your health insurance falls short of covering all your medical costs, you can use the MedPay coverage from your auto insurance policy. This coverage handles not only your medical bills but also extends its protection to cover your passengers’ medical expenses up to the specified policy limit.
Deductibles and Copays
MedPay is invaluable in situations where you have health insurance but still face deductibles and co-pays. And as we mentioned, your medical coverage payments can be processed regardless of which party caused the accident. This is particularly helpful when you must pay a healthcare provider before receiving a settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurer.
Medicare and Medicaid
For those who lack health insurance but meet the criteria for Medicare or Medicaid, these government programs can pay for your auto accident-related medical bills.
Please remember that any medical expenses covered by your health insurance or auto insurance company will remain the at-fault driver’s responsibility.
In such cases, your insurance provider will seek reimbursement from any settlement you secure with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. This process is commonly referred to as subrogation.
What If the Insurance Company doesn’t Offer a Fair Settlement?
Remember that an insurer might present a lowball settlement offer or deny your claim outright during the challenging period of managing your own medical expenses. In such situations, an experienced accident lawyer can help.
A car accident attorney has the expertise to initiate a personal injury lawsuit and, if necessary, bring your case to trial. The trial’s outcome may lead to additional damages being awarded, depending on the extent of the accident’s impact on your life.
Should I Keep Going to the Doctor If I’m Feeling Better?
It’s natural to be concerned about racking up medical bills following a car accident, particularly when immediate medical care and diagnostic tests can strain your budget. These expenses can add up quickly in cases involving severe injuries.
Nonetheless, pursuing essential medical treatment and faithfully following your doctor’s orders remain crucial. Failure to do so might provide an opportunity for insurers to minimize or deny your claim.
For instance, they may claim that your injuries were worsened by postponing or neglecting necessary medical treatment, potentially undermining your case.
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How Long do I Have to Sue for Damages?
According to Ohio Revised Code § 2305.10, the statute of limitations for filing a car accident lawsuit is generally two years from the injury date. Barring unique circumstances, failure to initiate your claim within this two-year timeframe could result in the Ohio court dismissing your case.
It’s vital to emphasize that this legal deadline typically begins counting from the accident date. With that in mind, swift action is paramount if you intend to pursue a car accident lawsuit in Ohio.
Free Consultation With a Columbus Car Accident Lawyer
Ready to take the first step towards securing the compensation you deserve after a car accident? The Fitch Law Firm is here to provide expert guidance, assess your case, and help you understand your legal options.
Don’t let an insurance company take advantage of you! Our Columbus car accident lawyers are committed to fighting for your interests and could pursue a settlement or court award that covers more than your medical expenses. Contact us now for a free, no-obligation consultation.
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