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$2 Million, Sept. 2021 Chester Co. Misdiagnosis Verdict

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Offices in Philadelphia & Conshohocken, PA

    Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyer-Medical Coverage Priority

    by | Mar 15, 2024 | Philadelphia PA Car Truck Accidents

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    Car and truck cases accepted across Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia County, Montgomery County, Delaware County, Chester County and Bucks County. Our offices are located in Conshohocken, PA (Montgomery County) and Philadelphia, PA. (610) 825-0500

    Below is a question we received recently about medical expenses after a Pennsylvania car accident.

    FAQ: I was injured in a car accident while in my friend’s car as a passenger. I submitted my medical bills to her car insurance company, but they said they don’t pay for them.  Is that true? If so, then who pays for my bills?

    The answer to your question depends on a couple of things:

    1. Do you own a car and are insured for that car?
    2. If you do not own a car, do you live with anyone who owns a car?

    Pursuant to PA auto accident law, when an insured driver is injured in a car accident, his own insurance company pays for his medical expenses regardless of fault.  When a driver buys car insurance, he has to buy Personal Injury Protection (PIP), which covers medical expenses when an injury arises out of the maintenance or use of a motor vehicle. This is PA’s no-fault system.  The law also provides a priority system to determine the source of PIP.  The coverage follows the insured and not the car.

    Scenario 1: You are injured in a car accident as a passenger in your friend’s car.  You own a car and are insured under that policy.

    In this situation, because you are the named insured on your car, you would file a PIP claim with your own car insurance policy and not your friend’s policy. 

    Scenario 2: You are injured in a car accident as a passenger in your friend’s car, but you do not own a car.  You live with your parents and drive their car.

    In this situation, you would file a PIP claim with your parents’ car insurance company.  Though you are not the named insured, you are a relative residing in an “insured” home. 

    Scenario 3: You are injured in a car accident as a passenger in your friend’s car.  However, you do not own a car, and you do not live with anyone who owns a car. 

    In this situation, your medical expenses would be paid by your friend’s car insurance company under your friend’s PIP coverage.

    Let’s assume you own a car and you submit your medical bills to your auto insurance company.  If you have the minimum PIP coverage of $5,000, that can be exhausted quickly if you have extensive injuries.  What happens after your PIP exhausts? Does that mean the other driver’s PIP is next in line to cover your medical bills? Unfortunately, the answer is no. 

    Pennsylvania law prohibits stacking of PIP benefits.  Therefore, whenever the source of PIP coverage exhausts, then you have to use another form of insurance to pay for medical expenses.  This means if you have private health insurance, then you would use that to pay for medical treatments.  However, most health insurance companies will require your auto insurance company to issue an “exhaustion” letter before it will pay for your medical expenses, i.e., a letter stating that all PIP benefits have been exhausted. 

    Most private health insurance policies have deductibles and co-pays.  Depending on the extent of injuries, they can add up fast.  If you pursue a PA car accident lawsuit, you may recover these expenses as part of your damages.

    Help After A PA Car  & Truck Accident

    If you were injured in a car accident and want to explore your legal rights, call the Pennsylvania car accident lawyers at Morris Wilson Knepp Jacquette. Our personal injury lawyers have been handling car accident cases for decades.  Contact our law firm for a free consultation. (610) 827-5191

    More From Our PA Car Accident Legal Library

    We Accept Medical Malpractice Cases Against Hospitals in the Philadelphia Area

    Cases Also Accepted Across Pennsylvania

    Philadelphia County

    Chestnut Hill Hospital

    Einstein Medical

    Hahnemann Hospital

    Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

    Jeanes Hospital

    Methodist Hospital

    Pennsylvania Hospital

    Roxborough Memorial Hospital

    Temple University Hospital

    Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

    Delaware County

    Crozer-Chester Medical Center (Upland)

    Delaware County Memorial Hospital (Drexel Hill, Upper Darby)

    Springfield Hospital (Springfield)

    Taylor Hospital (Ridley)

    Montgomery County

    Abington Hospital (Abington, Lansdale)

    Bryn Mawr Hospital (Bryn Mawr)

    Einstein Medical (East Norriton, Elkins Park)

    Holy Redeemer Hospital (Meadowbrook)

    Lankenau Hospital (Wynnewood)

    Suburban Community Hospital (Norristown)

    Children's Hospitals

    Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (Phila., West Chester, East Norriton, Meadowbrook, Doylestown, Langhorne, Sellersville, etc.)

    St. Christopher's Hospital for Children

    Shriner's Hospitals for Children

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