I just got into a motorcycle accident, who is going to pay for my medical bills?
Author: Attorney Daniel Villalobos
Answer: When someone gets into a motorcycle accident, how medical bills are paid depends on who is at fault in the accident, and what insurances are available, whether it be health insurance or automobile insurance. Florida is known as a “No-Fault State.” This means that in most car accidents regardless of who is at fault, the victim’s own automobile insurance carrier is responsible to pay for 80% of the medical bills up to $10,000 as long as there is an emergency medical condition. This is known as Personal Injury Protection (a.k.a. PIP). However, insurance companies are not required to provide PIP benefits if a victim is injured while riding a motorcycle. In this instance, a victim has two options. If the victim has health insurance, then he or she can treat at a doctor using the health insurance to pay the bills. The victim must also pay any and all co-pays and deductibles at the time of service. If the victim does not have the money to pay for the co-pays and deductibles, often times attorneys are able to work out an agreement with the medical providers to treat the patient under what is called a “Letter of Protection”. A Letter of Protection is typically a signed agreement between the attorney, the client and the medical provider to provide medical services to the client and the attorney will pay the medical bills upon resolution of the case. Once the victim finishes treatment with the doctor, the attorney will negotiate a settlement with the third party insurance company for the person who caused the accident. Once the case is settled the attorney and doctor will resolve the outstanding balance which is subject to client approval. The client will receive the net settlement after attorney’s fees and medical bills are deducted.
Typically this type of agreement would be entered into if the injured person is deemed not to be at fault for the accident. Such an agreement would be highly unlikely in the event that the injured person was found to be at fault in the accident since typically people who are at fault in the accident are not able to collect money from a third party insurance company for their injuries.
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