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August 17th, 2013

Injured in a Truck Accident in Pennsylvania? Who Pays for Your Medical Bills

The no fault system is probably one of the most confusing things about getting into a truck accident in Pennsylvania. Those injured in truck or car accidents in PA often ask, “why does my own car insurance company pays for medical bills?” or put another way, “why doesn’t the other driver who caused the accident have to pay for my medical bills?”

Who Pays Medical Bills After a Truck Accident in PA

Under the no fault system, medical bills which result from a car accident get paid by the individual’s own car insurance, up to the amount on the policy. This is known as PIP benefits and in Pennsylvania, car insurance policies must provide a minimum of $5,000 of PIP benefits.

Pennsylvania’s no fault system was adopted years ago. The idea behind no fault is to promote lower car insurance costs. By making PIP/medical benefits payable without regard to fault, the idea is that car insurance premiums will be more affordable for everyone.

Many people purchase higher PIP amounts, such as $10,000 or even $50,000. In serious car and truck accident cases, the $5,000 minimum will be reached. So the next question is, what happens after the PIP amount is exhausted?

After PIP is exhausted, the individual’s private health insurance company will step in to pick up the rest of the bills. In a subsequent car accident lawsuit, the individual can make a claim for any medical bills which are still outstanding/due and in most cases, what the health insurance company paid out for the medical bills. The following example explains how this works.

You are seriously injured in a truck accident. You have $10,000 of PIP benefits, which exhaust with the emergency room charges. After discharge from the hospital, you need rehabilitation, physical therapy and subsequent follow up with an orthopedic doctor. These additional charges total another $15,000, which is paid for by your private health insurance company. You incur roughly $2,000 in out of pocket medical expenses (co-pays, medications, etc.).

In this situation, the health insurance company asserts a right to get reimbursed for what it paid out for the $15,000 of medical bills. So, you would make a claim against the truck driver and/or the trucking company for medical bills totaling $15,000 (what insurance paid) as well as your $2,000 of out of pocket expenses. You may also make a claim for any reasonably certain future medical expenses. These claims for medical expenses would be in addition to pain and suffering as well as lost wages (past and future).

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Pennsylvania & New Jersey Truck Accident Lawyers

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Our car and truck accident attorneys serve accident victims in the following areas: Allegheny County, PA; Berks County, PA; Bucks County, PA; Chester County, PA; Delaware County, PA; Lehigh County, PA; Montgomery County, PA; Northampton County, PA: Philadelphia County, PA; Atlantic County, NJ; Burlington County, NJ; Camden County, NJ; Cumberland County, NJ; Gloucester County, NJ; Salem County, NJ; New Castle County, DE; he County, DE; Atlantic City, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Newark, NJ; Doylestown, PA; Media, PA; West Chester, PA; Norristown, PA; Camden, NJ; Wilmington, DE; Newark, DE; Georgetown, DE; and New Castle, DE. Our lawyers can obtain special admission in other states on a case by case basis.