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  • Writer's pictureBrad Keating

How Medical Bills Are Paid After Car Accident Cases - What Victims Must Know

Car accidents often leave someone hurt from the crash, and there could be specific physical injuries that might worry the victims. After everyone is okay and treated for their injuries, the victim often fears the large medical expenses they now have. Who is responsible for paying medical bills after a crash, and why does it matter who pays regarding the health insurance company?

The biggest factor for determining who pays the medical bills focuses on negligence. This proves that someone else ignored the rules and laws of driving, causing the crash because they weren't paying attention. The at-fault party for the accident usually uses Med Pay or Medical Payments Coverage from their health insurance company when in a fault state.

However, car accident cases that occur in no-fault states work differently for medical bills. The victim must pay the full amount from their health/car insurance or out of pocket.

Proving Negligence

Proving Negligence

If the car accident case goes to court, each attorney and client must present evidence to prove negligence. However, the other driver is likely to say that they were not at fault.

Ohio is a fault state. Therefore, if someone does something wrong and irresponsible, they are considered willfully negligent, which puts others in danger. A good way to risk a person's own car insurance policy and health insurance benefits is by not being responsible.

Car accidents caused by reckless behavior are the other driver's fault because it's easy to prove negligence based on the person's actions. Running red lights is wrong; texting and driving is wrong; drunk driving is wrong.

While most people require the help of medical providers immediately, they should do what they can to pay their medical bills on time or make arrangements for lower payments. That way, the bills aren't sent to collections before hiring a lawyer.

If a car accident is proven to be someone else's fault, with other drivers responsible, that affects how the victim's bills are paid and how Med Pay gets paid. Often, the auto insurance policy covers the costs, but it might not be enough. Therefore, the at-fault driver's insurance company may only pay some, leaving the rest to be paid for by the responsible party.

Who Pays Medical Bills from a Car Accident?

If the victim is in a car crash and they aren't responsible, the payment from the personal injury claim is calculated primarily as paid damages. The person who did the damage may not have to pay for medical treatment as the bills pour in, but they often provide the victim injured in a car crash a lump sum, covering the damages proven in the personal injury settlement.

The settlement compensation often comes from the health insurance company as it pays the medical bills and covers the medical treatment through Medical Payments Coverage.

Unlike other accidents having compensation come in for long-lasting or future complications, accident coverage payments are in the form of a lump sum that covers treatment and medical bills. That's something the victim should be aware of as they have to pay their own bills with their health insurance policy first and be reimbursed later. The related compensation comes from winning the claim and nothing more.

Health Insurance Company for No-fault States

If the victim lives in a no-fault state, then health insurance companies should quickly pay all or some of the medical bills and provide Med Pay. It doesn't really matter who is at fault because the state only cares about covering the bills up to the coverage limit listed in the health insurance plan.

When the medical bills are higher than the limit, the victim must cover the extra bills on their own. They aren't paid by the state if the costs are higher.

However, if the victim is on Medicare with a state-run health insurance program, it makes the payments for medical care. Otherwise, the bills get paid by the health insurance provider. If there is no insurance or Medicare, the victim must pay the bills related to the accident and may want to speak with their auto insurance company and/or an attorney. Building an excellent attorney-client relationship ensures that the victim has someone on their side.

At-fault States

Victims living in an at-fault state (such as Ohio) have the other driver's insurance company pay the medical bills. Generally, an attorney is required to help each person reach a settlement and win court cases. Because the process takes so long, the victim might have their health insurer or auto insurance company cover all the bills so that the other driver's insurance company can reimburse them later.

The award from the at-fault driver is often high to cover reimbursement, and then they must also pay any co-pays and medical bills that happen later through physical therapy and other doctor visits.

Overall, the at-fault driver is proven to be at fault by the victim's attorney, and they must make sure medical bills get paid to the injured person. Again, it all depends on the state where the incident occurred; be sure to check to determine whether it's an at-fault or no-fault state.

Who Holds Liability for the Health Insurance Company?

This is often confusing because the co-pays and medical bills paid after a car accident should be from the at-fault insurance company or driver. In different settlements and scenarios, both drivers may share the blame and bills, but a separate party may have full liability.

For example, if a bar serves alcohol to someone who's already intoxicated, they get behind the wheel, and end up causing a drunk driving accident that involves the victim. The bar could be at fault if it's proven that the bartenders acted negligently by continuing to serve alcoholic beverages.

Mechanical failures falling outside the realm of routine maintenance are the same way. For example, if the victim's airbags unexpectedly deployed while driving, causing the crash, they could pass the blame to the manufacturer. The attorney must prove that the airbags were defective and that they injured other parties. Then, the manufacturer must pay for the settlement.

Part manufacturers and mechanics may also be sued for medical bills if a lawyer can prove they were careless enough to install defective parts on the car, which will be determined in the duration of the car repair after the accident. That negligence caused the problem, and it is their ultimate responsibility to protect the victim to the best of their ability. If the mistake wasn't made, the victim couldn't have gotten into the crash.

How to Protect Oneself from Insuring in a Vehicle

It's important to have enough health insurance whenever driving to handle Med Pay. It's best to have PIP coverage (Personal Injury Protection), which is there to offer a fixed amount of coverage for lost wages and medical bills. Typically, the minimum is $10,000 for medical care protection.

Personal injury protection (PIP insurance) should be enough to pay for minor scrapes, but if there are many wounds, it might not cover everything.

PIP benefits are what pays for the health insurance when someone gets injured, and the company covers the rest. However, this is only available for no-fault states. Ohio is a fault state, so medical care must be covered by the victim's insurance or out of pocket. This is why there are many personal injury cases, allowing victims to sue the at-fault person when they're found liable.

When to Call a Personal Injury Lawyer about Health Insurance

When to Call a Personal Injury Lawyer about Health Insurance

It's often best to hire a lawyer to help victims understand their rights, prove negligence from other parties, and figure out medical payments. Attorneys comprehend the medical field and work hard on the personal injury case for each client they take.

Typically, the responsible party should have car insurance, which covers most of the damages. However, the victim may have to use their health insurance company at first. The settlement reimburses it and whatever out-of-pocket costs the victim took on to get better.

Generally, it's best to hire a lawyer as soon as possible. Medical bills may start piling up quickly, and the victim deserves appropriate compensation to handle emergency room payments and all the rest.

Plus, attorneys take action for the victim and go to trial if negotiations fail.


No one wants to get hurt in a car accident, but it happens frequently. They often have to deal with various health problems on an ongoing basis and must pay the medical facility and medical providers for the care they receive.

How does a victim get medical bills paid after a car accident? In a sense, the victim must do so. However, they should be reimbursed for any medical payments they provide after being rear-ended. The responsible party should be held liable.

A personal injury case ensures that the victim gets an appropriate settlement. However, it's crucial to work with an experienced car accident lawyer in Columbus. They can request essential medical records and get the victim a quick payment for their injuries. Call the Keating Law Firm LTD in Columbus, Ohio, to get started on a car accident case.


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