Daytona Beach Accident Lawyer - Medical Bills
Who is responsible for paying my medical bills and lost wages?
A Daytona Beach accident lawyer can be of assistance during these tough times. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, perhaps the most important question you may have is who will pay for my medical bills and lost wages? Florida is a No-Fault state. All motor vehicles licensed for operation on our highways are required by law to have minimum insurance that includes what is known as No-Fault Insurance. Another name for No-Fault insurance is Personal Injury Protection or PIP insurance. No-Fault insurance covers you and those members of your household to whom you are related by blood or marriage.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident and you own a motor vehicle, your medical bills and lost wages MUST be submitted to your own insurance company. If you do not own a motor vehicle but reside with someone to whom you are related by blood or marriage, your medical bills and lost wages MUST be submitted to the insurance carrier for your relative. If you do not own a motor vehicle, and do not reside with someone to whom you are related that owns a motor vehicle, your medical bills and lost wages MUST be submitted to the insurance carrier covering the car in which you were a passenger at the time of the accident. If you were a pedestrian at the time of the accident, the No-Fault coverage for the vehicle that struck is responsible for payment of your medical bills and lost wages.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, your medical bills and lost wages MUST be submitted to your own No-Fault insurance carrier for payment. Even if you were only a passenger in someone else's car, your No-Fault carrier has the primary responsibility for payment of your medical bills and lost wages. If you have the misfortune of being struck by a car as a pedestrian or while riding a bicycle, the same is true. I know what you are thinking, why should my insurance company pay for medical bills and lost wages that were caused by the negligence of someone else? Although this may seem unfair, Florida law dictates how the bills must be paid. There is no choice in the matter.
Although the amount of coverage available on a No-Fault policy can vary, the typical policy provides coverage of $10,000 per person, per accident. No-Fault pays 80% of all medical bills that are reasonably related to an injury suffered through the use or operation of a motor vehicle. It also pays 60% of a person's lost wages incurred as a result of injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident. No-Fault is also responsible to pay a percentage of other charges such as prescriptions, lawn maintenance, household care and other expenses that a person incurs due to injuries from an auto accident. Additionally, No-Fault will reimburse you for mileage to and from a health care provider.
Some No-Fault policies are subject to as much as a $2,000 deductible. This is not desirable because it means that until the deductible is met, your insurance company is not responsible for paying anything! When purchasing automobile insurance it is wise to avoid deductibles for No-Fault coverage whenever possible.
To begin a claim for No-Fault benefits, you must notify your insurance company that you were injured in an accident. It is important that you notify your agent or the insurance carrier as soon after the accident as possible. Most insurance companies require receipt of a properly completed form known as a "No-Fault Application for Insurance Benefits" before benefits will be processed. The insurance carrier may also provide you with a form known as an "Attending Physician's Report" to be completed by your health care provider. This form should be taken to the doctor's office for completion.
Your insurance policy requires you to cooperate with your No-Fault adjuster. You may be required to provide a sworn statement to the adjuster. Usually these are done over the telephone in an informal manner. Because such a statement can have serious consequences later in your case, it is always wise to have an attorney present during the course of the interview.
A Daytona Beach accident lawyer knows that in order to receive lost wage benefits from your No-Fault carrier, you must provide the adjuster with a completed "Wage and Salary Verification" form that the carrier will provide you. This form is completed by your employer and provides the insurance company the information that allows it to calculate your average weekly wage before the accident. The insurance carrier will also require a note from a physician excusing you from work before it will pay lost wages. Once the adjuster has this information, your lost wages should be processed within 30 days. If you continue to miss work, you are entitled to be paid additional lost wages every 2 weeks.
Because your insurance policy requires you to cooperate with your No-Fault carrier, you may be asked to submit for a compulsory medical examination with a doctor selected by the insurance company. Such an examination is not scheduled because your insurance company is concerned for your welfare! Compulsory medical examinations are the insurance carrier's way of obtaining a more favorable opinion so that it can terminate your right to further care. There are limits to what an insurance company can force you to do in such an examination. If your insurance company schedules you for a compulsory medical examination, you should consult with an attorney who specializes in handling personal injury cases immediately.
With No-Fault coverage, you are entitled to seek care from any type of health care provider you desire. You are not required to obtain pre-authorization from your No-Fault carrier before you receive treatment. Your carrier must pay for your medical care and lost wages as long as your doctors feel your treatment is reasonable and necessary. The only limitation on your treatment is the amount of coverage. There is no time limit for receipt of No-Fault benefits. So long as your benefits remain in effect, your carrier must continue to pay until the coverage is exhausted.
If you have any questions for a a Daytona Beach accident lawyer or if you just would like to speak with a Daytona Beach accident lawyer feel free to give us a call anytime!