Learn our 8 expert tips for dealing with medical bills after a car accident. Printed in the Spring 2019 issue of Bend Health Guide.
So, you’ve been in an auto accident or maybe as a pedestrian or cyclist, you were hit by a car. You’re handling injuries and now you have to navigate a process to deal with three separate insurance companies: your auto insurance, their auto insurance, and health insurance. Here are some tips to help navigate the process of dealing with motor vehicle accident bills efficiently, so you can focus on what is most important – your health and getting back on your feet.
There’s a priority to the order of who pays an injured party’s medical bills after a car accident. Every auto insurance policy issued in Oregon, by law, has Personal Injury Protection, “PIP,” that provides a minimum $15,000 to each individual for medical services provided within the first two years of the crash (see ORS 742.524(1)(a)). Regardless of fault, an injured person is first covered by the insurance company of the vehicle the person was riding in. After that, health insurance is generally next in line to pay.
Every Auto Insurance Policy issued in Oregon has Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Report the crash to the insurance company of the vehicle you were in and get a PIP claim number. Give this number to medical providers so they can bill the auto insurance directly. Do this as soon as possible, so there’s no mistake in billing. If you were in someone else’s vehicle, you’re first covered by their insurance. If you use up that first PIP, you can access a second PIP through your own auto insurance before using health insurance. This saves you on co-pays and make for a smoother process if you need to file a claim against the at-fault driver.
If you were a pedestrian or bicyclist hit by a car, you’re entitled to PIP coverage through your own auto insurance even though your vehicle was not involved…
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