It’s not unusual for a person to suffer injuries as a result of a car accident in Louisiana. Car accident injuries can range from minor to serious and can include everything from cuts, scrapes, and bruises to bone fractures, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and more. Treatment for these injuries can be expensive and recovery can be lengthy, preventing the injured party from returning to work.
A JJC Law, one of the biggest concerns our clients have is paying for their medical expenses after an accident. This is understandable — in some cases, accident-related medical expenses can be tens of thousands of dollars. Ongoing medical treatment, such as additional surgery, physical therapy and medications, could add thousands more to the final bill. Does the other driver have to pay? Does health insurance cover injuries sustained in car accidents? How does this all work?
Under Louisiana law, you are only required to carry liability coverage on your automobile. If you are involved in an accident, this coverage pays for property damages or personal injury for which you may be legally responsible, up to the dollar limit of your policy. The problem is, this type of insurance only covers injuries to others, not to yourself.
Louisiana Does Not Require Drivers to Carry Personal Injury Protection Insurance
Unlike other states, personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage is not required in Louisiana. Instead, drivers can purchase medical payments insurance (also known as MedPay) to help pay for any personal medical expenses stemming from the accident, regardless of who was at fault. You may want to consider purchasing an uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage policy for additional protection. Be careful when choosing uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage because there is an option for “economic only” uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. “Economic only” is a type of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage that ONLY pays for medical expenses and lost wages. It does not cover general damages (pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, etc) after an accident.
You Can File a Personal Injury Claim With the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
What happens if you didn’t have MedPay insurance coverage at the time of the accident? If the other driver was at fault for the accident, you can seek medical expenses and other damages, including lost wages, by filing a personal injury claim with the other driver’s insurance company. Contact JJC Law to learn more about filing a personal injury claim after a Louisiana auto accident.
In Louisiana, each vehicle is required to have what’s called “15/30/25” liability coverage limits — $15,000 for bodily injury to one person, $30,000 for bodily injury to more than one person in a single accident, and $25,000 in coverage for damage to someone else’s vehicle or property. If the costs of your injuries exceed $15,000 dollars, you may need to look to other options to help with medical expenses.
Does Health Insurance Cover Car Accidents?
A third option is to use your health insurance coverage for your medical care after a car accident. What health insurance will cover or not cover after after car accidents will depend on the terms of your policy. However, health insurance policies generally allow medical treatment for injuries sustained in a car accident.
Here are some things to consider when filing a claim with your health care insurance company after an automobile accident:
- Your plan’s deductible
- Available treatment options
- In-network or out-of-network distinctions when it comes to choosing a physician or other healthcare provider
- You may only be able to file with your healthcare insurance provider as a “secondary” claim — you’ll have to file a claim with a “primary” insurance provider (Your medical payments insurance provider or the other driver insurance company).
- Your healthcare policy does not provide for lost wages and other damages.
A Health Insurance Claim Should be Your Last Resort
Due to deductible costs and other concerns, you should file a claim with your health care insurance provider only if there are no other funds available. We recommend that you file a claim through your medical payments policy insurance policy first. If you don’t have a MedPay policy, or your medical expenses exceed the limit of your policy, you’ll want to file a personal injury claim with the driver who was liable for your accident. This is a complicated process that is best left handled by an experienced personal injury attorney. However, you can claim a wider range of damages (including lost wages) by filing a personal injury claim.
Will My Health Insurance Want Its Money Back For Treatment from a New Orleans Car Accident?
The quick answer is, it depends. Your health insurance carrier has the right to recover any benefits (money) paid toward treatment that was caused by the fault of another person. Typically that means your health insurance carrier files a “lien” against your personal injury claim by sending a letter to the at fault automobile insurance carrier and/or your attorney. The health insurance carrier may not tell you about the lien until you have agreed to a settlement with them, which can drastically change the amount of money you agreed to accept from the at fault automobile insurance company.
Government related health insurance such as Medicaid, Medicare and military health insurance are required to be paid back by you, the at fault automobile insurance carrier, and/or your attorney. Navigating these lien issues can be complicated and time consuming. Contacting the personal injury attorneys at JJC Law before these issues arise will help protect your rights and potentially navigate these issues before they follow your New Orleans car accident.
JJC Law Is Here To Protect Your Rights After a New Orleans Car Accident
Have you been injured in a New Orleans car accident that was the fault of another driver? Contact JJC Law without delay. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, you may be able to seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company to help cover your medical costs and other losses resulting from the accident.
The personal injury attorneys at JJC Law are dedicated to protecting your rights to recover the total compensation you are due for the damages resulting from your accident injuries. In addition to medical expenses, personal injury damages in a New Orleans car accident often include loss of earnings as well as pain and suffering. We can help you determine the total costs of your injury-related damages and represent your interests when it comes time to negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Contact JJC Law through our website, or call us at (504) 513-8820 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a leading New Orleans auto accident attorney. We’ll discuss your case, answer any legal questions you may have, and provide professional advice on the best way to proceed with your claim. Don’t wait too long — the state of Louisiana has strict statute of limitations laws when it comes to filing a personal injury claim after a New Orleans car accident.