NC Auto Accident But Insured Out of State

Auto accident injury claims are complicated enough when we’re dealing with just one set of rules. But when you get other state’s laws and policies involved, it can get super nutty super quick.

As a personal injury attorney in a college town, I see this scenario more often than I’d like: You are from out of state and have health insurance from that state and are covered by an auto policy in that state. Then you’re in an auto accident in North Carolina. How will those other out of state plans be involved?

As often, the answer is this: It depends.

We are a “liability” state, which means that if someone causes an accident then their liability insurance should cover our damages. Some states have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage that is sort of the opposite; with PIP, your plan covers you regardless of who caused the accident. In those states, the PIP coverage jumps in line ahead of your health plan (often, but not always) and becomes primarily responsible for paying for your treatment. So if you are in an accident in NC but are insured out of state, you’ll want to talk to both of your other coverages (auto and health) to determine how they see their obligations.

With your health plan you’ll need to know

  • Will they pay for treatment out of state?
  • Will they pay for that treatment if it’s related to an auto accident?
  • If they pay for treatment, does your particular plan have a right of reimbursement, allowing them to seek repayment for what they paid out? If so, from whom?

With your auto coverage you’ll need to know

  • Do you have PIP coverage?
  • Will that PIP coverage pay for treatment out of state?
  • Will that PIP coverage pay for treatment related to an accident that occurred out of state?
  • What right of repayment, if any, do they claim over your injury claim proceeds from other parties?

This is all so wacky and not fun that you might want to ignore it, but you do so at your peril. Don’t get caught holding the bag in this situation. Talk to an attorney who can guide you through this. Call me at 919-929-2992.

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Contact Jeffrey

Jeffrey Allen Howard, Attorney at Law, PLLC
1829 E. Franklin St. - Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

(P) 919-929-2992
(F) 919-636-4779

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