Medical Care and Medical Bill Responsibility - Florida Truck Accident
When there is a crash or accident involving a commercial truck that is the fault of the commercial truck driver, many people assume that the medical bills will automatically be paid for by the at-fault trucking company and driver. Certainly, in the sense of fairness and justice, the injury victim should not be held liable or responsible when a truck driver negligently caused a crash; however, it should be noted that there are laws in the State of Florida that control the payment and responsibility for medical bills following an automobile and a truck accident. When there is a truck accident, it is important to know and understand that applicable laws and insurance policies in place that provide potential coverage for medical bills.
Based in Jacksonville, Florida, David Wolf is a Florida Truck Accident Attorney who understands the intricacies, processes, insurance coverages, and laws that pertain to medical bills and personal injuries. He is the author of 10 books including the book titled - Big Trucks - Big Problems - When a Truck Driver Wrecks Your Day and Life - Legal Rights of the Injury Victim and Family. This book has a chapter on Medical Treatment an Follow Up and Insurance Issues and Common Questions. You can read more about this book at Big Trucks - Big Problems.
Let's discuss a truck accident scenario to explain how medical bills are typically paid following a crash. Let's say that Mary Jones is driving a motor vehicle insured with State Farm. While driving on Interstate 95, a semi-tractor trailer crashes into the back end of Mary's Nissan Altima. The back end of Mary's car is crashed and she is forced into a guard rail. Her airbags deploy. A Florida Highway Patrol trooper arrives on the scene and issues a citation to the truck driver for careless driving. Mary is transported to the hospital via fire rescue and is evaluated at the emergency room. Let's say that the fire rescue bill is $800 and the emergency room bill is $2,000. Mary then follows up under the care of a neurologist and receives therapy. Over the next 3 months, the bills incurred of the medical care are $6,000. As such, the total medical bills are $8,800.
Under this fact scenario, many people think that the truck company should and would step up to pay these medical bills; however, this would not be the case with these facts. PIP (Personal Injury Protection) is required coverage for every registered automobile owner in the State of Florida. If you own a vehicle that is operable, you need to purchase insurance which at a minimum requires the purchase of PIP (Personal Injury Protection) and Property Damage. PIP will pay for 80 % of reasonable and necessary bills up to $10,000. There are some exceptions to this general coverage and rule.
Let's now go back and figure out how these bills will be paid. Mary will be required to file a claim with State Farm to obtain these PIP benefits. Assuming that State Farm does not question or challenge the reasonableness or necessity of the medical care, State Farm would pay 80 % of the medical bills even though Mary was not at fault. As such, State Farm would pay $7,040 of the medical bills. The remaining $1,760 could be covered by health insurance OR ultimately paid for by the insurance company for the truck driver / truck company. If Mary refused to process the bills through her company, neither the truck company nor the health insurance company would step up to pay the entirety of the bills because PIP is primary.
As you can see, it is a bit confusing and a bit unfair that the injury victim needs to use his or her own insurance to pay for medical bills that resulted from the negligence or carelessness of another person - namely the truck driver. If you need help and have questions in the aftermath of a Florida car accident or truck accident, contact attorney David Wolf for a Free Consultation. He is available days, nights, weekends, and holidays for his clients and prospective clients. Call or text David Wolf at (904) 699-8366 or send David Wolf an e-mail at dwolf@davidalanwolf. com