Many states, including Virginia, allow insurance agents to offer optional “medical expense benefits” along with a standard auto insurance policy. This coverage (“med pay” for short) provides for payment of 100% of any medical bills (up to the coverage amount, usually 1,000 to 10,000 dollars per covered vehicle) arising from a car crash/collision involving personal injury to the insured, or involving injury to a resident relative of the insured person.
Since it is an optional coverage on your car insurance, consumers do not always buy it. Medical payments coverage says that if you or anyone else gets hurt arising out of the use of your vehicle, that the insurance company will pay medical expenses up to a certain dollar figure regardless of fault. This means even if the accident is your fault you are still covered. Moreover, if you or a family member are hurt in someone else’s car, your medical payments coverage would kick in if they don’t have any, or over and above the car owner’s, if they do have medical payments coverage.
Typically, $1,000.00 worth of med pay coverage will only cost around $20.00 per year. I, myself, carry $10,000.00 worth of medical payments coverage on my vehicle. If you are in an accident that is not your fault and our firm is representing you, we assist in recovering medical expense benefits and do not charge any legal fees to help with this part of the case.
Medical payments coverage is still 100% of the medical bills even if you are covered by health insurance too. So, even if the bills you incur are paid by health insurance, the original total of the medical bills must still be paid by the car insurance company providing you medical payments coverage.
Last, even if the medical bills are covered by health insurance and paid by medical payments coverage, the at fault “tortfeasor” still must generally compensate the injured person for all past and future medical expenses (despite prior insurance payment through one of your own insurance sources), for past and future lost wages, for permanent impairment and disability, as well as pain and suffering type of damages.