Car Accident That Isn’t Your Fault – How to Protect Yourself NOW for Medical Expenses that You Will Have to Pay.

Posted By: Tony Baratta | December 8th, 2017

Because Pennsylvania is a no-fault state, every motor vehicle accident victim remains responsible for paying their own medical expenses by law.  Once your automobile medical coverage is exhausted (if you have medical insurance), the bills must be submitted to your health insurance company.  However, this will create tremendous problems for you because you will be responsible for deductibles, copays and health insurance company pre-authorization policy.

These medical costs, if not paid, could affect your credit score. If you have no medical coverage, you will not get the care you need. Litigation against the reckless driver may take many months and even years. But you will be responsible for your medical costs during that time, and, even if you do have health insurance, you may have to pay back to the insurance company what it paid upon the successful resolution of the case against the reckless driver.

There is something that each of you can do, however, to prevent this problem.  Stop reading right now and get your automobile insurance Declarations Page which explains what coverages you have.

Okay, now that you have that in front of you, look at the coverages under Medical.  How much do you have?  To be able to drive legally, you only need $5,000. This is not nearly enough.  That $5,000 could be eaten up in an ambulance ride to the hospital and an emergency room visit requiring a few x-rays.

Call your auto insurance company immediately.  Pennsylvania law requires that auto insurers offer for purchase medical benefits up to at least $100,000 as well as extraordinary medical benefits from $100,000 to $1,100,000 which may be offered in increments of $100,000.

While you are at it, look at how much coverage you have for Income Loss Benefits under your auto policy.  You can choose Income Loss Benefits up to $2,500 per month up to a maximum of $50,000.

You have an option to combine benefits for medical, income loss, accidental death and funeral expenses with a limit of $277,500 for expenses incurred within three (3) years from the date of the accident causing the injury.

With auto insurance medical benefits, there is NO deductible, there is NO pre-authorization requirement, you can choose whatever doctor you wish to provide your care and the doctor has to accept the payment from the auto insurance company as payment in full and cannot come after you for any balance.

Please, review now the medical payment benefits you have chosen with your auto insurance policy to protect you and your family from the potential nightmare caused by a reckless driver.




About the Author

Anthony J. Baratta (Tony) is a trial attorney. He has tried more than 50 cases to Juries in State and Federal Courts and has litigated thousands of personal injury and medical malpractice cases in his 30-year career. Tony is the founding partner of Baratta, Russell, & Baratta and an active board member of the Pennsylvania Brain Injury Association (BPIA). Tony is also on the board for the Philadelphia VIP and performs pro bono work for the Laurel House, a non-profit for victims of domestic abuse. In addition, Tony is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum for trial attorneys, voted one of Philadelphia’s Super Lawyers for the past 14 years, and a 2018 recipient of the First Judicial District Pro Bono Award for the Civil Trial Division.

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