It can be a scary chain of events through no fault of your own you are in a car accident. Your life seems to be spinning out of control and you are rushed to the hospital, treated in the emergency room and after a few difficult days, you are released.
You feel lucky to be alive, but the worry is not over. How are you going to pay for the hospital and the medical bills. The very institution that help save you life is now scrambling and looking to you for money.
Before the calls what can you do? Like many West Virginians, you may have no health insurance. However, hopefully, prior to this accident, you have opted to have medical pay added to your auto insurance policy. Wait a minute you say, “The accident wasn’t my fault, doesn’t the other person’s insurance have to pay?” Well, you are only half -right.
The at-fault party’s insurance company does have to pay under the liability provisions of the at fault driver, but only one time and with one lump sum in exchange for a full release. Unless you settle you case early before you have completely recovered the at fault insurance company will not help you. What they want is for you to settle early before you know if you have fully recovered or may have future medical bills. If you settle too soon, you cannot recover any future damages if you later have a medical setback. This is where if you have med pay on your policy you can turn for help.
The West Virginia Insurance Commission defines medical payments coverage as a form of insurance that pays for medical and funeral expenses regardless of liability.
Most policies in West Virginia provide for medical payments coverage and some insurance companies wisely offer higher levels of medical payments coverage. For example, State Farm policies routinely has $25,000 in medical payments coverage.
In these difficult economic times, we are all trying to find ways to cut cost. However, check with your agent to determine the amount of med pay you have on your policy. If you are without health insurance, med pay can be a welcome discovery, if unfortunately you or your passenger are in an accident.