Matthew D. Dubin: You were riding a bus, minding your own business, maybe you were reading a book or listening to music, when all of a sudden the bus was in an accident. Maybe it was the bus driver's fault, maybe the bus was struck by another vehicle, but in any case you were injured and now you require medical treatment. At some point, you'll probably ask yourself, who's going to pay my medical bills?
I'm Seattle personal injury attorney Matt Dubin. Join me now as I discuss the mechanics of getting your medical bills paid after you've been injured while riding on a bus.
Now in most cases personal injury protection or PIP coverage is a no-fault medical payments coverage that will pay for accident-related medical bills following an accident. However, many bus lines and other public transportation systems don't have PIP coverage.
That means you'll only get money from them at the conclusion of your case either through settlement or through a successful outcome in litigation. That means you're left to rely on other methods to get your insurance paid. Most people with auto insurance have personal injury protection or PIP coverage of their own. However, many insurance policies specifically exclude injuries that take place while you're riding on mass transit.
It's very important for you to call your insurance provider right now and make sure that you have personal injury protection or PIP coverage and that that coverage will protect you if you're injured while riding on a bus or other mass transit.
Now if you don't have PIP coverage, or if your PIP coverage won't cover you on mass transit, your only remaining insurance option is your health insurance. Now, sometimes when you're injured in an accident your health insurance will require a showing that there is no other insurance available to cover those accident-related bills, but once you can show them that there is no other insurance, they'll pay the bills pursuant to the terms of your policy. Of course you'll have copays and deductibles that you're responsible for out of pocket, but hopefully you'll recover those expenses at the conclusion of your case.
Finally, if your PIP does not cover injuries that take place while you're riding mass transit and you don't have health insurance, the last resort is to find a provider who will treat you on a lien. That means they'll provide you treatment and carry the balance until the conclusion of your case, at which time they get paid out of your settlement or your recovery. Sometimes it's hard to find a provider who will treat you on a lien, but if you've got a good case, and you're represented by an experienced personal injury attorney, most of the time you can find a qualified provider who will treat you for your accident-related injuries.
Once again, when you're injured while riding on a bus, the first place you would look is your own personal injury protection on your auto coverage to see if they provide coverage for injuries that take place while you're riding on mass transit. If they don't, the next place you'll look is your health insurance. And if neither of those options are available to you, the last resort is to get treatment on a lien and to pay the provider out of the recovery you ultimately obtain with the help of a qualified personal injury attorney.
Now if you have been injured on a bus, I strongly recommend that you speak to a personal injury lawyer with experience handling bus or other mass transit cases. You can check out our website for more information or give us a call. We'd love to hear from you.