Many people who have been injured in a car accident believe that the at-fault driver’s insurance will pay for their medical treatment as they treat. Unfortunately, this is not the case. An insurance company will only issue a one-time settlement amount for a claim to reimburse an injured person after they have treated. What this ultimately means is that the injured victim will initially be responsible for their own medical bills until a settlement or award is obtained on their behalf.
What is Medical Payment Insurance?
Although law does not require it, all automobile insurance policies sold throughout South Carolina offer residents a form of coverage known as personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payment coverage (“medpay”). Essentially, this form of coverage is available to provide you up to $1,000.00 to cover any out-of-pocket medical expenses you may have incurred as a result of a car accident in addition to any available liability or underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage is available through your own insurance policy regardless of whether you were at fault for the accident.
Why is Medical Payment Insurance Important?
Since often times there will be a lapse of time between when you receive medical treatment and when an award or settlement will be obtained on your behalf, medical payment coverage can provide some form of relief to help you start making some type of payment to your medical providers so that you will not be sent to collections.
Although it is not likely enough money to cover your entire medical expenses, it will go a long way in working with medical providers to cover copayments and work with them so that they will hold off on sending your bills to collection agencies prior to you receiving an award or settlement. Importantly, under South Carolina law, personal injury protection coverage is not subject to subrogation or assignment, meaning your medical providers are not entitled to place a lien on this coverage amount.
If you have any questions about your vehicle’s insurance policy and what coverage might be available to you, feel free to contact our Charleston car accident lawyers at 843-991-6528 and we will be happy to review your policy and educate you on your rights.