After a serious car crash, as the medical bills start piling up, you might wonder who will pay them. The answer could be the medical payments coverage on your insurance policy.
For many North Carolina accident victims, medical payments (Med Pay) coverage offers much-needed compensation while they recover from their injuries. However, to get value out of Med Pay coverage, it’s important to understand how this coverage works and what types of losses it covers.
What Is Med Pay Insurance?
Med Pay is an optional form of motor vehicle insurance coverage in North Carolina. After a car crash, Med Pay should cover your reasonable and necessary medical expenses up to your policy limit.
Unlike most other types of motor vehicle coverage, you do not have to prove fault or liability to receive compensation from Med Pay. Even if you caused the crash, you might have a valid Med Pay claim.
It’s also important to understand what Med Pay won’t cover. Unlike some forms of insurance, Med Pay doesn’t compensate you for your lost wages or income. It also won’t address your pain, suffering, or emotional distress.
Your Med Pay policy covers more than just you (the policyholder). It also typically protects:
- Your spouse
- Family members that live in your household
- People who are passengers in the covered motor vehicle
In fact, your Med Pay policy covers you and family members who live with you even when you’re riding in someone else’s vehicle, walking on the street, or riding your bike. If your household has multiple Med Pay policies, you can also “stack” them and receive compensation from more than one policy if you have significant medical bills.
Unfortunately, most people purchase very limited Med Pay policies, and they end up with $2,000 or less in coverage. If you’ve ever been to the hospital for an injury, you know that $2,000 won’t pay for much in the way of medical treatment. Because the premiums on most Med Pay policies are relatively inexpensive, we encourage everyone to purchase as much coverage as they can reasonably afford.
How Do I File a Med Pay Claim?
People who suffer injuries in a crash often don’t even realize they have Med Pay coverage, and unfortunately, their insurance company typically won’t remind them. To determine whether you have Med Pay, you can review your auto insurance declaration page, which list the types of coverage included in your policies. If you’ve been injured in or around Charlotte and you need help obtaining or interpreting your declaration page, contact Myers Law Firm for assistance.
If you have Med Pay coverage, you should contact your insurance company immediately after a wreck. You’ll have to provide them with information about the circumstances of the crash, your injuries, and the medical treatment you received.
Sometimes, insurance companies deny Med Pay claims. For example, they might argue that your treatment was unreasonable or unnecessary, especially if the treatment involved a relatively new drug or technology. If your insurance company tells you they won’t pay your Med Pay claim, you should immediately contact an experienced personal injury lawyer for help.
How Is Med Pay Different Than PIP Coverage?
You might have heard of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. PIP is another form of no-fault insurance that covers your medical bills and lost wages after a car crash.
PIP policies are not available in North Carolina. However, if you are an out-of-state driver or recently moved to North Carolina, you might have a PIP policy. If you’ve been injured in a crash in or around Charlotte, you can contact Myers Law Firm for more information about filing a claim with an out-of-state insurance policy.
Won’t My Health Insurance Pay My Medical Bills?
Sometimes people decide not to purchase a Med Pay policy because they believe they have good health insurance coverage through their employer or another program. However, it’s important to remember that even the best health insurance plan will typically leave you with out-of-pocket expenses.
For example, your health insurance plan might have a high deductible, which means you’ll have to meet your deductible before your policy starts covering any medical expenses. Many health insurance policies today have deductibles of $10,000 or more. And even after you satisfy your deductible, you might have co-pays or other out-of-pocket expenses.
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When you have Med Pay insurance, it will reimburse you for some or all of these out-of-pocket costs depending on the size of your policy. The peace of mind and financial safety net you get from Med Pay is well worth the relatively small increase in premiums, which is why we recommend all North Carolina drivers purchase as much Med Pay coverage as they can reasonably afford.
Myers Law: Helping Clients Recover After Car Accidents in Charlotte and Throughout Mecklenburg County
When you work with a personal injury lawyer at Myers Law Firm, we’ll carefully review your insurance policies and identify every potential claim that you might have, including Med Pay, uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM), and other types of coverage. We’re here to advocate for you and protect your rights, and if we’re able to take your case, we’ll fight aggressively to get you fair compensation for your injuries.
If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligent behavior in Charlotte or anywhere else in Mecklenburg County, contact us to get a free case assessment from one of our attorneys. To schedule your free initial consultation, just fill out our online form or call 704-376-3000.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.