Almost every car insurance policy has a provision called "medical payments," which will pay for medical bills if you are involved in any type of wreck in your car. Many people who are injured in a car wreck do not think about this provision of their insurance but we want to spend some time talking about this important part of your insurance.
How much med pay do I have?
Normally, your medical payments or med pay will be around $5000. You can ask your insurance agent or check your insurance card as it may have the amount listed.
How is med pay different than other parts of my car insurance?
One important part of this part of your insurance policy is that it will pay regardless of who, if anyone, is at fault in the wreck.
This is different from liability insurance on your car. That will defend you if you are sued because somebody has claimed that you were negligent.
If you are in a wreck with somebody else and you claim that they were at fault, then their liability insurance will pay if it is proven that they were at fault.
But med pay will pay even if it is a single car wreck and even if nobody was at fault.
So how does med pay work?
After a car wreck, gather up your medical bills as you receive them. You can then turn them into your insurance company and specifically ask that you be reimbursed out of your med pay provision.
So will State Farm or Allstate or whoever my insurance company is actually pay this money?
I have been representing Alabama residents in car wrecks for about 19 years now. In all that time, I have never had to sue a car insurance company over med pay. Now I have filed countless lawsuits over car wrecks for personal injuries, and even some for property damage, where the insurance companies will not pay, but never for med pay. I have found that if you send the proper documentation in, then the car insurance companies are good about paying under your med pay.
Do I need a lawyer to help me claim my med pay benefits?
Let me answer it this way.
You do not need a lawyer to get your med pay benefits.
You can do this on your own.
Now, if you have already hired a lawyer to sue the person who is negligent and/or to sue your own insurance company for uninsured or underinsured benefits, it makes sense to let your lawyer handle the med pay part of your case.
I cannot speak for other lawyers, but I can say that my firm has never charged a fee to help somebody collect their med pay benefits. It normally is simply a matter of sending in the medical bills with the appropriate letter, and the benefits are paid very quickly.
So if you have not hired a lawyer, than you can handle it on your own. But if you have hired a lawyer or you expect to hire a lawyer, then you might prefer for the lawyer to handle it just so you do not have to deal with the details.
If I've been in a car wreck in Alabama and I have questions, what should I do?
A couple of things.
First, remember that there is a two-year statute of limitations to sue the person who is negligent. So don't wait too long -- instead take action before that time period expires. But...
Second, there is generally no reason to have to hire a lawyer the next day after a car wreck. You have time to make the right decision. Especially if you're being pressured to hire a lawyer, I would be very skeptical. It also makes sense to gather information about car wreck cases in Alabama and about lawyers who handle car wreck cases, so that you can make the right decision. Any good lawyer should happily give you written information or a CD or DVD that explains the process and answers questions that you have.
And if the lawyer insists that you must come in for a consultation, you can certainly do this, but you would naturally wonder why, if this lawyer is skilled at handling car wreck cases, he or she cannot give you free information ahead of time.
Third, if you're interested in talking to us or in receiving the free information package that you can review in the privacy of your own home, give us a call at 205-879-2447 or you can contact us by filling out the form on the left of this page, or you can use the contact us page on our Birmingham Injury website.
We wish you the best of luck and let us know how we can help you.