When you have found yourself involved in a motor vehicle accident, one of the many overwhelming concerns you may have is how to handle your medical treatment. Questions might arise like: Who is paying for my medical treatment? Do I have to pay out of pocket or will my insurance help? Should I not use my health insurance until my claim has been resolved and we have received a settlement from the at fault party? With these questions in mind it can be confusing to figure out what to do immediately after your accident. It is crucial to understand the role of health insurance in a personal injury claim, in this article we aim to shed light on the legality of using your health insurance in a personal injury claim as outlined by Utah’s Laws and Codes.
Utah: No Fault Insurance System
Here in Utah we operate as a no-fault insurance state, as outlined in Utah Code §31A-22-307. No fault insurance means that your car insurance can cover your initial medical expenses, regardless of who has caused the accident or who is at fault. This coverage is known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and in Utah is required as part of your auto insurance policy. You are required to have a minimum of $3,000 in medical expenses covered by this insurance, however, you can increase this coverage if you see fit.
Using Health Insurance After PIP Has Been Exhausted
Once your PIP benefits have been exhausted, your health insurance will become the primary payer for your medical treatment. However, if you are deemed not at fault for the accident you will be able to pursue compensation from the at fault parties insurance via a personal injury claim. This would allow your medical bills and property damages to be covered by the at fault driver’s insurance, rather than your personal health insurance.
Utah’s Health Insurance Laws Affecting Coverage
According to Utah Code §31A-22-618, health insurers cannot deny coverage for treatment of injuries related to car accidents. This means that you are free to seek medical treatment under your personal insurance plan and they can not choose to deny your treatment due to your personal injury claim. Even so, your insurance may have a right of subrogation or reimbursement if you receive a settlement or judgment in your favor in a personal injury claim.
Seeking Compensation Beyond PIP Coverage
If your medical expenses exceed your PIP limits, then you may need to step outside of Utah’s no fault system and pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver as defined by Utah Code §31A-22-309. A personal injury claim can be extremely helpful in the event of serious injuries, as treatment can be much more expensive.
Should I Seek Legal Help?
Yes. Navigating the complexity of health insurance as well as auto insurance in the aftermath of a car accident can be challenging and overwhelming. Insurance companies stay profitable from paying out as little as possible to their injured clients, a personal injury attorney will fight for your right to fair compensation. An attorney will also help alleviate the stress of your claim, dealing with the insurance companies and at fault party so that you do not have to.
A motor vehicle accident can bring you significant medical expenses, pain, suffering, and unwanted stress. By better understanding how you can use your health insurance in these situations, you will hopefully feel less burdened in one aspect of your injury claim. If you are injured, it is crucial that you seek the help of a skilled car accident attorney. The legal experts at LifeLaw Personal Injury are ready to give you the legal help that you deserve. Our team of the best car accident lawyers in Salt Lake City, pride themselves on client communication, ensuring that you feel heard and understood through every step of the legal process. Let our team handle all of the complex legal issues so that you can focus on what is really important, your recovery. If you or someone you know has been injured contact LifeLaw Personal Injury today for a free consultation! 801-206-4002.