Both health insurance and auto insurance are absolutely essential types of coverage in modern American life, and in most places you are required to have the latter by law. But can your health insurance and car insurance be used in tandem?
If you get into a car crash that was caused by another driver’s negligence, is your health insurance going to pay your medical bills, or the driver at fault’s car insurance, or your car insurance, or some combination?
This situation can be really confusing, and unfortunately there is no simple answer.
Let’s walk through the general overview, demonstrate a few state-by-state differences, and show where you can get specific answers depending on where you live.
Health Insurance Coverage for a Car Accident Will Depend on Your State of Residency
Essentially, the question comes down to state law and insurance policies. It is crucial that you read both your auto and health insurance policies thoroughly when you first sign onto a new policy.
Ask your insurance company any questions if the answers aren’t clearly written in the policy.
Although your health insurance company will cover you for certain medical expenses, depending on your coverage, it’s possible that your health insurance will deny a claim that you file for medical expenses incurred as a result of an accident.
Why would this be the case? It may be that your health insurance policy dictates that in certain circumstances involving auto accidents, the burden of payment rests with the auto insurance company.
No-Fault and At-Fault States
It’s important to know if you live in a no-fault state or an at-fault state. If your health insurance doesn’t cover certain car crashes, you really want to make sure that your auto insurance has a pretty high cap on bodily injury in a no-fault state.
If you live in a state with at-fault personal injury liability laws, the question of medical bills in the event of a car crash will again come down to your health insurance policy. It will also depend on the circumstances of the crash and the insurance coverage of the driver who hit you.
If you’ve incurred medical expenses, regardless of whether or not your health insurance denies your claim or only covers a portion of the costs, you should quickly file an insurance claim with the company that covers the driver that was at fault.
Ideally, they will offer you a settlement that takes care of all your expenses.
If your health insurance company already paid some or all of your medical bills, they will most likely take the relevant chunk of that out of the settlement you receive from the auto insurance company.
Why Do I Need an Attorney to Handle an Insurance Claim?
A personal injury compensation can provide financial support and help in dealing with the aftermath of a crash.
Consulting with an attorney before accepting a settlement offer can dramatically increase your chances of getting a good settlement. This is particularly important if you live in an at-fault state.
Why? For one, having your attorney deal with the insurance company shows that you mean business.
Secondly, an attorney with experience in personal injury law or auto accident cases will be able to give you a better sense of what you can expect and what a good outcome will look like.
A lawyer is essential during the settlement phase because they have experience negotiating with insurance companies.
They understand the tactics they’ll use to try to get away with offering you less than you need to recover so they can hang on to their profits.
If you make the decision to sue for damages, you will absolutely want an attorney’s help. If you try to handle negotiations on your own, you may not end up with enough to cover your medical costs.