Being involved in a car accident can be downright traumatizing and life-changing. Of course, there is the physical damage to your car and all the hassles associated with it. You need to haggle with your insurance company, get repairs or even buy a new car.
If your accident involved you sustaining an injury, then it’s even more traumatizing. The emotional and physical toll an auto accident can have is serious.
It can also be a significant financial toll too. Sure, you have car insurance for your car. But it is a pain to go without a car and arrange repairs and pay deductibles. Or worse yet, head for more car shopping after the accident.
All of this is made worse if you sustained significant injuries in the accident. Then you start to worry about who will pay for all these unexpected expenses.
Many of our readers are asking, “Who pays for physical therapy after a car accident?” This is multiplied tenfold if the accident was not your fault. Then who is responsible?
Read on to learn who pays for medical care and more when you are involved in an auto accident.
New York and many other states around the country practice what’s called no-fault insurance. The basic premise of no-fault insurance is that it doesn’t matter who is at fault for an accident.
If you are involved in a car accident and you live in a no-fault state, then your own insurance covers expenses, whether you are at fault or not.
This means that if you did not cause the accident your own insurance will still be responsible for covering expenses. These expenses might include:
Car repairs and damages are different under no-fault insurance and the faulty party can still be held responsible.
The philosophy of no-fault insurance is that you move along claims more quickly. It also requires that all people have coverage. When all people have coverage and it’s a no-fault state, all citizens have coverage.
This means that when there is an accident, the fault becomes a non-issue for coverage and reimbursement. Every person has no-fault and is therefore covered.
One principal behind no-fault insurance is that everyone spends less on litigation over who is at fault in an accident and who should pay damages. In a tort state, the driver who is at fault becomes responsible for paying damages.
The problem with this philosophy is arguing over and proving fault.
If you have been injured in a car accident, you want medical care and you want it paid for without having to haggle over the associated bills.
Once you are in a car accident and injured, your immediate concerns involve getting care. Once the shock wears off and you are involved in the recovery process, which often involves rehabilitative care like physical therapy, you might start to worry about paying for all this medical care.
You might even be thinking this accident was not my fault. Why do I have to pay all these bills?
Remember, in a no-fault insurance state fault doesn’t matter. Well, mostly it doesn’t matter.
Because no insurance company wants to cover the bill if they can get someone else to pay for it, how the bills get paid can get complicated.
So if you’ve been injured often the recovery involves long term rehabilitative care like physical therapy. Because of the nature of car accident injuries, often this care can be necessary for longer periods of time, sometimes even years.
The cost can add up quickly.
So, in New York with no-fault insurance, the first $50,000 in medical bills is covered by your own insurance. While that might seem like a large amount, if you have ever paid a medical bill, you know the $50,000 won’t go very far.
If your care including treatment like physical therapy post-accident exceeds $50,000, then your own personal medical insurance will kick in and start to cover the bills.
If you are lucky, you have your own medical insurance. Then it kicks in after the $50,000 amount is surpassed. However, in many cases, the insurance will only cover 80% of that bill.
Say, for example, you have $150,000 in medical bills and continuing care. The first $50,000 is covered through your no-fault auto insurance.
This leaves you with $100,000 in bills. If your own health insurance picks up and covers 80%, you still have $20,000 in bills.
It is easy to understand the frustration when you know you are not at fault for the accident. In many cases, the insurance companies start legal action against each other to get repayment. And remember that the at-fault person’s insurance is responsible for damages to your car.
The truth is in a bad accident, it is easy to see how you can get to this point and have a pile of expenses related to the accident.
If you had long term injuries, you might be still getting care and racking up bills. This is often the stage when you need legal counsel. Are you allowed to sue in a no-fault state? Yes, you can.
First, these bill steps will be followed and those insurers described above will need to pay their part.
But many patients find at this point, it is necessary to get an attorney to fight on their behalf. The attorney can file claims with the at-fault insurance company. They can also sue the person who is at fault for things like negligence in causing the accident.
While it’s a process, it can help to get your expenses covered.
The real truth is that if you are injured in an auto accident, the thing you should be worried about is getting quality care and healing.
If you need experienced physical therapy care after an accident, we can help.
Call 1-800-897-8440 to get more information about or to book an appointment.
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