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How Will Your Medical Bills Be Paid if You Are Injured in a Car Accident?

Person injured in car accident standing next to hospital bed with walker in hospital gownInjuries resulting from car accidents in Troy, Albany, or elsewhere in New York will lead to medical expenses. And in situations when the injuries are serious and result in extensive treatment, it’s important to know what sources you can look to for payment of the bills.

Wondering how your medical bills will be paid after a car accident?

Here, we’ll explain the details on New York’s insurance laws so you can understand how your medical bills will be covered after you have been injured in an accident. 

No-Fault Insurance in New York State

Under New York’s No Fault insurance law, if you are a New York resident at the time of the accident, your own automobile insurer will be primarily responsible to pay medical bills, regardless of who caused the accident.

How No Fault Works

Under the No Fault provisions of your policy (called Personal Injury Protection), each covered individual is provided with up to a minimum of $50,000 in coverage for payment of medical bills. If there are lost wages, this applies to those as well.

There may be additional coverage, depending upon whether your insurance agent or company recommended it, and assuming you opted for it through payment of an additional premium. It is important to know that an application for No Fault benefits must be filed with your insurance company within 30 days of the accident.

Limitations of No Fault Coverage

There is no compensation for pain, suffering, emotional distress, beyond the coverage provided for in the insurance policy. Medical bills and lost income that exceed the amount of the Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) are also not covered.

Claims Against the Other Driver Beyond No Fault

The injured driver and/or passenger(s) may file a claim (lawsuit) against the driver who was at fault for pain and suffering, emotional distress and medical bills and lost wages (upon exhaustion of the No Fault coverage amount) if he sustained what is known as a “Serious Injury” as defined under the Insurance Law. You can learn more about what constitutes a serious injury in New York State here.

Workers’ Compensation

If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident while in the course of your employment, you must file a claim for through your employer under the worker’s compensation laws. In this situation, the worker’s compensation carrier will “step into the shoes” of the No Fault carrier and pay the same benefits as those that would have been paid if you were not injured in the course and scope of your employment.

Health Insurance

Most policies of private health insurance will pay medical bills after a car accident once the No Fault limit has been exhausted.

Medicare or Medicaid

If you are on Medicare, it will, like a health insurer, cover medical bills to the extent the regulations allow, upon exhaustion of No Fault and private health coverage benefits (if any).

Importantly, if a personal injury claim is brought, the federal government (through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services), is entitled to reimbursement for bills incurred for injuries sustained in the car accident. Medicaid will also pay medical bills and is also entitled to reimbursement for bills it has paid related to a car accident.

Other Factors to Consider Following a Car Accident

Whether you were an occupant of a vehicle, a pedestrian, a bicyclist, the operator of a motorcycle or on a bus impacts how you medical bills will be paid.

Vehicle Occupants

As stated above, the occupant of a vehicle registered in New York State is entitled to No Fault benefits through the policy carried by the owner of the vehicle. Remember, a no-fault application must be filed within thirty days or you could be denied coverage.

Pedestrians

Pedestrians are entitled to No Fault benefits from the insurance company covering the car that hit him. Sometimes it is difficult to determine the identity of the insurance company, but look to New York car accident reports to obtain this information. It has a section where the police officer has written the code for the insurance company.

You can find more details about no-fault insurance coverage for pedestrians here.

Bicyclists

The vehicle who struck a bicycle is responsible for the bicyclist’s medical bills and lost wages. A No Fault application must be filed within thirty days to receive benefits. Information about the insurance company can be found in the police report.

More details about no-fault insurance for bicyclists involved in car-bicycle accidents can be found here.

Motorcycles

No Fault benefits are not provided through motorcycle insurance. Medical benefits can sometimes be purchased for an additional premium and you should consult your insurance company to discuss this coverage. If the motorcyclist has his own health insurance, it should be utilized.

Learn more about insurance coverage and what to do if you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident here.

Bus Accidents

If you are involved in a bus accident and are injured, and you or someone who lives in your household owns a vehicle, that insurance company is responsible for No Fault benefits. Otherwise, the bus company is responsible.

You can learn more about who will pay your medical bills if you’re injured in a bus accident here.

Get the Help You Need with Paying Your Medical Bills After a Car Accident

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious personal injury as the result of a car accident in Troy, Clifton Park, Saratoga or elsewhere in the Capital District, you may be entitled to compensation. As practicing car accident attorneys with more than 90 years of combined experience, the legal team at Anderson, Moschetti and Taffany understands how to effectively represent persons who have been injured.

With decades of experience handling car accident cases in the Capital Region, our team has the knowledge and resources necessary to obtain full compensation for you or a loved one. We are versed in the legal principles that govern personal injury law and have obtained record-setting verdicts and settlements for past clients. You can feel confident turning to us for assistance with paying your medical bills after a car accident.

Interested in setting up a FREE case review and evaluation? Give us a call today at (518) 785-4900 or complete our online contact form to get the conversation started. There is no obligation.

Editor’s Note: This content was originally published in 2013 but has been updated as of May 2018.

David J. Taffany

About David J. Taffany

Mr. Taffany is an personal injury lawyer and a founding member of Anderson, Moschetti & Taffany, PLLC in Albany. He specializes in all types of personal injury and wrongful death cases, including complex medical malpractice, products liability and labor law. Read More About David J. Taffany »