The days and weeks following a car accident can be incredibly stressful. You’re not only because still recovering from the trauma of the crash, but if you were injured, you’re probably growing concerned about who’s responsible for paying your medical expenses.
If you’ve recently been injured in a car crash and are wondering about your legal options for recovering the costs of your medical bills, reach out to our team at Daniel T Pagliarini AAL to speak with a personal injury attorney. From our main offices in Honolulu, Hawaii we are proud to represent accident victims and their families in Maui, Big Island, Kauai, Lanai, and Molokai.
Hawaii Is a No-Fault State
The first detail to understand about car accidents in Hawaii is how insurance claims are handled. Hawaii is known as a no-fault state which means that you’ll have to first file a claim with your own insurance policy, regardless of who caused the accident.
All drivers in Hawaii are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance up to $10,000 per individual in the car. So, when you’re involved in an accident that resulted in injuries, you must first use your PIP coverage before you can file a claim with the other driver. You’re only permitted to file a claim with the other party or sue if your damages are high enough and exceed the limits of your own insurance.
Will My Car Insurance Cover My Medical Bills?
PIP insurance is only to be used for medical bills including doctor’s fees and any rehabilitative services you need. However, if your injuries were extensive, you may quickly run through the $10,000 limit. Some drivers may opt for an additional type of coverage called MedPay that can be used for medical bills, but this is not required by state law. It’s also worth noting that if you sustain property damage because of the crash, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver for these expenses since they won’t be covered by PIP.
Do I Have to Use My Own Health Insurance?
You aren’t required to use your own health insurance to pay your medical bills, but most plans will cover injuries sustained from a car accident. Additionally, this may be a good option if you need medical attention immediately and can’t wait for a claim to be resolved.
You also may be required to use your car insurance coverage (typically PIP) before your health insurance will kick in. This happens in cases when your health insurance is listed as a “secondary” policy. Note that if you do use your own health insurance, your provider may seek reimbursement for these costs if you go on to receive a settlement from the other driver.
What If I Don’t Have Health Insurance?
You should always get medical care for your injuries whether you have health insurance or not. Your physical health and well-being is the most important consideration after an accident.
If this is the case for you, be sure to keep track of all your medical bills and expenses since this documentation will be crucial to bringing a case against the at-fault driver. In many instances, you can tell your provider that you were involved in an accident and that you’re waiting on money from a claims settlement to pay your bills.
Turn to Us for Help Following Your Accident
Contact us at Daniel T Pagliarini AAL to consult with a trusted injury attorney in the Honolulu, Hawaii area about paying medical bills after a motor vehicle crash. Our experienced lawyer will walk you through your options and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.