One of the biggest questions I get is how to pay for medical bills right after a car accident. The State of Utah is what we call a no-fault state. That means that regardless of whether you are at-fault for a car accident, you have no-fault benefits or PIP under your own auto insurance policy to cover medical bills.
PIP stands for personal injury protection. Every vehicle is required to have PIP insurance with a minimum of $3,000 in coverage. UCA 31A-22-302, 307. However, you can purchase PIP coverages in higher amounts - $10,000, $50,000, $100,000. This money can be used for hospital visits, chiropractic visits, physical therapy visits, etc…
Even if you have health insurance, you want to start paying for medical bills with PIP. Why? Because if there is PIP available, your health insurance will retract all of its payments until the PIP benefit has been exhausted. Only once your health insurance has proof that the PIP benefits have been exhausted will they start to pay again.
There are also a few other little known benefits available under your PIP coverage: wage loss, household services, death, burial benefits.
For wage loss, you can receive up to $250/week for up to 52 weeks with the exception of the first 3 days. So, if you’re only out of work for 2 days, you would not be able to access the wage loss portion of this benefits. The only trick is that you have to have a doctor’s not showing you aren’t able to work for each day that you miss as well as a not from your employer indicating the day was actually missed and what your wage would have been.
PIP also offers a household services benefit of $20/day for things you need help with around the house. For example, if you had to pay someone to mow your lawn, shovel snow, grab groceries for you, etc… You cant get up to $20/day for those kind of expenses.
Finally, you can get $1,500 in funeral/burial/cremation expenses reimbursed and a $3,000 benefit paid out for the death of a covered individual.
Benefits in the amounts I’ve just described are not going to cover everything in every case. In some cases it may not cover even a fraction of the expenses. However, when you’ve been in a car accident, knowing how things operate and what’s available to you can make a big difference.
If you have questions about how this would apply to your specific case, give us a call. We provide a free consultation where you can get all your questions answered! Call us at 801-849-3664.