Medical payments auto insurance coverage – or med pay – pays the medical expenses of the insured car owner and his/her passengers after an accident. Med pay provides coverage no matter who caused the collision.
Med pay coverage can be valuable in a variety of car accidents, including if you are injured by an unidentified hit-and-run driver. Under med pay policies, the insurance company pays the doctor or hospital directly. You don’t have to pay out of your pocket and wait to be reimbursed. Med pay is optional insurance coverage in California.
Unfortunately, med pay only pays medical bills. Med pay coverage is sold in California in a variety of coverage limits as low as $1,000 for each person injured. A med pay policy with low limits typically doesn’t go far in a serious car accident.
If someone else caused your injuries, you may also have a right to pursue an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver’s auto liability insurance. You will need experienced legal representation to demand full compensation for all your losses if you have been badly injured in a car accident.
At Sam & Ash Injury Law, we know the types of insurance policies that may be available to help injured people recover financially from a traumatic car accident. Our car accident attorneys in Orange County believe in fighting for What’s Right. We will aggressively advocate for you. Contact us today for a free initial legal consultation about how we can help you.
What Does Medical Payments Coverage Provide?
After a car accident, medical payments coverage pays medical bills up to coverage limits for:
- The driver of the covered vehicle
- Passengers in the covered vehicle
- The policyholder and their family members if injured in another vehicle, such as a borrowed car, rented car, public transportation, or hired vehicles such as Uber, Lyft, or a taxi
- The policyholder and their family members if hit by a motor vehicle as pedestrians
- The policyholder and their family members if hit by a motor vehicle while on a bicycle
Med pay policies should pay out automatically without requiring you to prove who caused the accident. There is no deductible or co-pay. Med pay coverage may be used toward funeral and burial expenses in a fatal accident.
In California, med pay insurance is optional coverage. It is sold in coverage amounts of $1,000, $2,000, $5,000, $10,000 or $25,000. It is typically used to cover initial medical expenses after a car accident. Med pay is helpful if your health insurance has high deductibles or co-pays, or you have no health insurance.
Med pay coverage is per incident. This means there is no yearly limit, or cap, on what you may claim, as exists with many health insurance policies.
In California, an insurer cannot increase premiums after an auto policyholder makes a claim if the policyholder was not at fault for the accident. If you were at fault, you will still be paid under med pay coverage, but the insurer has the option of raising your rates.
What Is Not Covered Under Medical Pay in California?
Because med pay coverage only pays medical bills, you will need to access other insurance coverage to pay for other losses typical in a car accident. This includes:
- The cost to repair or replace your vehicle or a bicycle
- Lost wages while you are hospitalized or recuperating from injuries
- Lost income if you are unable to return to work
- Incidental expenses related to your injury, such as renting a vehicle, taking public transportation, or hiring household help
- Pain and suffering, including the diminished quality of life you have suffered because of the trauma of the accident and your injuries
- Lost financial and emotional support from a family member injured or killed in an accident
To recoup compensation for lost income, pain and suffering, or vehicle repair costs, you would need to pursue a claim against the at-fault driver’s auto liability insurance. Liability coverage is required to register a motor vehicle in California, with a minimum coverage of:
- $15,000 for the death or injury of any one person
- $30,000 for the death or injury of more than one person in any one accident
- $5,000 for damage to other vehicles and structures that the policyholder’s car hits.
Recovering compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, and other expenses requires a personal injury lawsuit and a jury verdict. Because insurance companies often would rather not risk taking a case to trial, payment for these losses can be included as part of a negotiated settlement.
Contact Our Orange County Car Accident Lawyers
If you’ve been injured in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, you have the right to be made whole financially. Medical payments coverage is one option if you carry this type of policy as part of your auto insurance. After car accidents involving serious injuries, you will need to explore all your legal options to cover medical bills and other expenses. You may have the right to seek compensation from the at-fault driver and any others responsible for your injuries.
In Newport Beach and greater Orange County, California, Sam & Ash Injury Law can help you seek the maximum compensation available after a car crash. Our car accident attorneys will thoroughly investigate the accident to gather evidence to support your claim, calculate all your losses, and pursue full compensation for you. We do this because making you financially whole is What’s Right.
We are accomplished litigators and down-to-earth people. Get to know us and what we can do to help you by reaching out to us today for a free case consultation. We only receive a legal fee if we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. Contact us now.