One of the worst kinds of accidents is when a pedestrian is hit by a car. Pedestrians don’t have the protection of a car frame, and even at low speed, the injuries can be devastating.
Getting your medical bills paid after such an accident can be confusing. Do you use your health insurance? Your auto insurance? Do you pay out of pocket? Dealing with the financial impact of a pedestrian accident is frustrating, and can interfere with your ability to focus on your physical recovery.
Essentially, when you are a pedestrian who has been hit by a car, there are four options to get your medical bills paid. They are listed below in the order of priority:
- The driver’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
- Your own Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
- Your health insurance
- Treatment on alien
When you are hit by a car, the driver’s PIP coverage (if they have it) is primary. That means they have the first responsibility to pay your bills. This is so regardless of fault. That means that as long as the medical treatment is reasonable, necessary and accident-related, they will pay.
If the driver who hit you has no PIP coverage, your own PIP coverage becomes primary. Again, as long as the treatment is reasonable, necessary and accident-related, they will pay up to the limits of your coverage.
If neither you nor the driver has PIP coverage, or if those coverages are exhausted, then you can bill your health insurance. The disadvantage of health insurance is that you are still responsible for copays and deductibles and are sometimes limited to in-network providers, but if there is no PIP available, this is still a good option.
Finally, if there is no PIP or health insurance available, you can usually find a provider who will treat you on a lien, carrying the balance until the conclusion of your case. Sometimes they require a letter of protection from an attorney, guaranteeing their payment upon the resolution of your case, but this will often allow you to get the treatment you otherwise could not afford.
I hope this helps you understand the basic of getting your medical bills paid following a pedestrian vs. car accident.
For more details, or if you have questions about pedestrian accidents or any other kind of personal injury claims, give us a call. We’d love to hear from you.