Med Pay Coverage in NC Auto Accidents
Automobile insurance coverage is a somewhat complicated situation in North Carolina. Most auto accident victims in North Carolina tend to focus on what the at-fault party’s insurance company will pay for the treatment of the victim’s injuries. And the primary focus should be there.
But if victims look closer at their situation, they might have thousands of dollars of medical coverage that they’ve been paying for, in addition to the liability coverage for the bad guy!
Medical Payments coverage, or “Med Pay” as we call it in the business, is optional extra coverage you can purchase with the liability policy that you have to buy. Many people have Med Pay coverage but – believe it or not – most people that I speak with don’t even know whether or not they have it!
This coverage no-fault coverage – meaning it doesn’t matter who is at fault – and is designed to pay for any and all medical expenses, up to the policy limits of the Medical Payments policy, incurred as a result of injuries sustained by any person riding in the car which is covered by that policy of insurance. I see policy limits vary a lot. I see little policies at $500, and I once saw one for $1 million. Most Med Pay policies in NC are $1000 or $2000. Any victims in the covered vehicle can be covered by the policy; they do not have to own the car and do not have to be a named insured under the policy. Anyone who is injured while riding in the car at the time of the accident and incurs medical treatment costs can have all of their reasonable medical bills paid up to the amount of the Med Pay coverage.
The big hesitation I see from clients is a concern that using their coverage might raise their rates. Med Pay coverage is optional “no fault” coverage, so it doesn’t matter who caused the accident. If you were in a covered vehicle and were injured in an accident, regardless of who caused it, you have access to that vehicle’s Med Pay. Moreover, if your treatment costs exceed that vehicle’s Med Pay limits, you may have access to another Med Pay policy of a different vehicle’s policy, depending on the circumstances. This is a tricky topic and you’d do well in seeking legal counsel for coverage questions.
Med Pay coverage is available in addition to the coverage you’re seeking through the at-fault party’s liability coverage (assuming we’re talking about the Med Pay for the car you were in and the driver of that same car wasn’t at fault…). Med Pay coverage is available in addition to your health insurance.
Maybe the most important thing about Med Pay is to know is whether or not you have it! Check out your policy or talk to your insurance agent. And remember, if you have it, use it! You’re paying for it after all, right? Otherwise, why would you be paying for it?
When I represent an auto accident victim I help to process the Med Pay coverage free of charge.
Remember, if you are in an automobile accident in North Carolina and want to talk to an attorney about your options, call me. 919-929-2992.
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