HOW ARE MEDICAL BILLS PAID AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT IN NORTH CAROLINA?
After being involved in a car accident, most people suffer some form of injury or medical problem. Typically, this results in expensive medical bills that require payment soon or immediately after the car accident. When this occurs, how are medical bills paid after a car accident?
How To Get Your Bills Paid After a Car Accident
Generally, after you have been the victim of a car accident, you are entitled to receive compensation for injuries and medical bills. To do this, you typically have two options:
- File a claim with your personal car insurance company;
- File a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver;
Both of these avenues will allow you to obtain compensation to help pay your medical bills. Below are the most common sources to help pay for medical bills after an accident.
The at fault driver is legally required to help get your bills paid after a car accident. In North Carolina, the legal system follows a “fault” system of liability for car accidents. This means that the individual who causes the car accident is generally responsible for the damages or injuries caused by the car accident. Typically, fault is determined either by the police officer that responds to the accident or an insurance company investigator. However, unless the at-fault driver has a large amount of money or assets available, they are typically not able to cover or provide all the money required to pay for all the damages or medical bills of the victim. Because of this, North Carolina requires all drivers to maintain car insurance.
At Fault Driver’s Car Insurance
The insurance company for the at fault driver should help you pays your medical bills after a car accident. In North Carolina, every driver who operates a car is required to carry a minimum level of liability insurance in order to legally drive a car in the state. These minimums are:
- $30,000 for bodily injury liability, per person per accident;
- $60,000 of total bodily injury liability per accident; and
- $25,000 of property damage liability, per accident;
Although these numbers are the minimum insurance amounts required by North Carolina law, many drivers may also carry higher insurance limits in order to reduce the chance that a victim sues them personally after these limits have been reached.
Uninsured / Underinsured Insurance Coverage
Your own car insurance may help you pay your medical bills after a car accident. North Carolina also requires that every insurance policy in the state have Uninsured and Underinsured coverage. This coverage provides additional money that is available in case your medical bills are more then the required state minimum carried by the at-fault driver or if the at-fault driver has no insurance at all. In these situations, any additional medical bills would be covered by Uninsured and Underinsured insurance coverage.
Medicare / Medicaid / Private Health Insurance
Health insurance may help you pay your bills after a car accident. Additionally, you may be able to pay your medical bills through health insurance providers like Medicare, Medicaid, or other private health insurance carriers if you are eligible for those services/benefits. However, if these services pay your medical bills, they will require repayment of these benefits as soon as you receive either compensation or a settlement from the at-fault driver or their insurance company. This is called subrogation.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident, don’t hesitate to Contact Us at Minick Law for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney about your case. 828-333-5024.
James Minick is a criminal defense attorney in Asheville, NC and is the owner of Minick Law, P.C.