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Who will pay for my medical bills?

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you’ll suddenly have a list of unforeseen expenses in the form of bills for treatment of your injuries or for repairs to your vehicle. Most ambulance rides cost around $300-$500 these days, and visits to the emergency room are typically at least $2,500 but can obviously be much greater in the case of a broken bone or worse. And that’s often just the first day!

The good news is, if you’re in Kentucky and you own a motor vehicle that is registered to be driven on the highway, you’re required to buy a minimum of $10,000 in what’s called “basic reparations benefits” insurance, and $25,000 in liability insurance on that vehicle. Basic reparations benefits are usually called “personal injury protection” benefits, or PIP by insurance companies, and they’re also commonly referred to as “no-fault benefits.”

As an aside, I always recommend buying an insurance policy with much higher limits for PIP, liability, and also to purchase underinsured and uninsured coverage from your insurance carrier. Just because the state requires people to buy insurance doesn’t mean everyone does, and if you’re hurt in a wreck where the other vehicle is not insured, you could be on your own for some of your claims.

Back to the point. If you’ve got insurance on your vehicle, you’ve got no-fault benefits. Assuming the minimum limits, that means that regardless of who is at fault for your wreck, your insurance carrier will pay up to $10,000 of your reasonable expenses for medical treatment that you incurred due to the crash. Your no-fault carrier is also primarily responsible for paying those bills. Your health insurer, if you have one, should not be billed for your treatment until or unless you’ve maxed out your no-fault coverage.

Once your no-fault runs out, though, you are on the hook for paying your medical expenses. Those expenses can be counted as damages in your claim against the other driver if he or she bears any fault for causing the crash, but they’re still your responsibility. If you have private or public health insurance, that will kick in to assist with that. If you do not, then those bills are your personal responsibility.

Dealing with all of the different insurance policies and claims can be a real headache. We do it every day for our clients so they can focus on themselves. If you’ve been in a car wreck and don’t know what to do or where to turn, give us a call at 502-633-6002 for a free consultation and let us give you a helping hand. Call today!