Auto insurance policies can be complex and difficult to navigate, but it is important to understand the various types of coverage offered in order to protect yourself in the event of an accident. One type of coverage that is often included in auto insurance policies is “medical payments” coverage, also known as “med pay.”
Medical payments coverage under auto insurance policies can help pay for the medical expenses of drivers and passengers who are injured in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. This coverage can help cover accident-related medical bills, such as ambulance rides, hospital visits, appointments with doctors or specialists, surgeries, and therapy or other rehabilitation costs.
Medical Payments Vs. Health Insurance
It is important to note that medical payments coverage is not a substitute for health insurance. Accident-related medical bills often exceed the limits of a person’s medical payments coverage. Not all states make it mandatory for drivers to carry medical payments coverage under their auto insurance policies, and, in states where it is mandatory, the minimum amount of coverage required is generally a relatively small amount. For example, Colorado requires $5,000 of medical payments coverage (unless the coverage is rejected in writing). Of course, drivers can choose to purchase higher limits of medical payments coverage in order to provide more protection in the event of an accident.
If a person has health insurance, medical payments coverage can be used to pay for out-of-pocket expenses that health insurance does not cover, such as deductibles, co-pays, and other out-of-pocket expenses. And, medical payments coverage can also extend to and provide benefits for your passengers.
It is also important to understand that medical payments coverage is not the same as bodily injury liability coverage. Bodily injury liability coverage pays for injuries and damages caused by an at-fault driver to other people. Such other persons, in addition to passengers, may include pedestrians or occupants of other vehicles who are hurt in the accident. And, any person who is hurt in an accident may have damages in addition to medical bills, such as wage loss; non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering; and other damages. Unlike bodily injury liability coverage, medical payments coverage may not cover such other persons and such other damages.
In the event of an accident, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you do not immediately feel any pain or discomfort. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
If you have been injured in an accident, it is also important to consult with a personal injury attorney to ensure that your rights are protected. A personal injury attorney can help you navigate the complex legal process and work to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and expenses.
At Keating Wagner, we have a team of experienced personal injury attorneys who are dedicated to helping clients who have been injured in accidents. We understand the challenges that our clients face, and we work tirelessly to ensure that they receive the compensation they deserve. If you have been injured in an accident, we encourage you to contact us to schedule a free consultation. We are here to help.