Car insurance policies provide several different types of coverage that will pay medical bills. The two main sources of coverage are 1) specific medical payment coverage in the insurance policy for the car in which the injured person was occupying; and 2) the liability coverage for person who was liable for the accident.
In most states, a car owner as part of his car insurance coverage can buy insurance that will pay the medical bills for the treatment of injuries suffered by an occupant of the insured car in a wreck. This coverage is often called “MedPay.” This insurance is not mandatory. And the per person/per accident coverage limits can range from as low as $2,000 to as high as $50,000 or even greater. MedPay will pay those medical bills regardless of who was at fault for the accident. MedPay is what is known as primary coverage, which means that even if Medicare, Medicaid, or group health insurance initially paid the bills, MedPay must still pay the bills, while the insurance company that initially paid the bills will be reimbursed.
If the person was injured in a car wreck as a result of the negligence of another, then the injured person has an additional source of insurance coverage to pay his medical bills. This insurance is called liability coverage and all automobiles are required to have it. Each state requires a minimum dollar amount of coverage. In Virginia, the minimum limits of coverage are $25,000 per person/per accident. This insurance pays an amount to the injured person equal to the damage caused by a negligent driver of the automobile to the injured person, including any medical bills. This is true even if the bills have already been paid by MedPay or other insurance. The injured person will receive this amount if and when he receives a judgment against the negligent driver, or the negligent driver’s car insurance company reaches a settlement of the injury person’s liability claim with the injured person.
In most states, if the injured person’s medical bills were paid by MedPay (or other insurance) and the injured person then received a settlement or judgment against the driver who negligently injured him that included a payment equal to the total of the medical bills, the injured person is required to reimburse the MedPay insurance carrier out of those proceeds for the amount of the MedPay payment. This right of reimbursement is known as the right of subrogation, as skilled Abingdon Virginia car accident lawyers trust. However, Virginia and some other states have enacted what are called anti-subrogation laws. Under those laws, the MedPay insurance company has no right of reimbursement.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their insight into car accident cases.
Unfortunately, many people are injured every year in car accidents caused by negligent driving. If you, or a loved one, has been injured in just such an accident, you need to know your rights.
Every state defines within its laws what exactly negligence means. However, a simple definition is: When a person fails to do something he or she should have done. In the context of car accidents that usually means the driver failed to prevent an accident that should have been preventable.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Attorneys, like a personal injury lawyer Bowling Green KY trusts, look for certain indicators of negligence. If you know any of these signs were present before or after your accident, make sure you get legal advice.
- Excessive speed. There are speed limits and these limits are posted for a reason. Road conditions mean that only some speeds are safe. If the other driver was driving too fast then he or she may not have allowed themselves sufficient reaction time to avoid an accident.
- Road rage. Tailgating, cutting off drivers, yelling at drivers and other hostile actions are clear indicators of a driver who is not only NOT paying attention to the road and dangers, but may actively be causing dangers himself/herself.
- Distracted drivers. We all know the dangers of texting while driving. But there are other distractions that can be just as dangerous: talking on the phone, setting GPS, eating, looking for items in the glove box or on the floor, talking with passengers, eating or anything else that causes you to divide your attention. I was almost T-boned once by a driver who had a whole newspaper spread out across the steering wheel.
- Intoxication. Drinking and driving certainly do not mix. Drugs and driving do not mix. But some people may not be aware, or may ignore, that prescriptions and driving often do not mix. Until you know how your medications affect you, do not drive. If they ever cause you symptoms such as lethargy or distractedness, then for driving purposes, assume they always cause such symptoms.
- Faulty equipment. If you know your vehicle has faulty equipment, such as bad brakes, you could be negligent in choosing to drive it. You could be negligent if you drive a vehicle without first ensuring that it is safe to drive. So, always keep your vehicles well maintained.
Hopefully you and your loved ones will never be in an accident. This information should help you to avoid being a danger to others and help you be a better defensive driver when others are causing driving hazards. And if you are ever in a wreck, look for the above signs that the other driver was being negligent and let you attorney know.
Thanks to our friends and contributors Tim Hendrix Attorney at Law PLLC for their insight into negligence.