If you were injured in an auto accident today, what would you do? Who would you call for help? Would your auto insurance cover treatment of your injuries?
Most low speed auto accidents cause primarily soft tissue injuries such as sprains and strains. When seeking treatment many people choose to call their chiropractor first. Chiropractic treatment is both safe and highly effective at relieving pain and promoting lasting healing of injured muscles, ligaments and nerves.
While you may assume their health insurance is the best way to pay for their treatment after an auto accident, this is often not the case. Health insurance may have many limitations (such as high deductibles and copays or limited access to in-network providers) and may not be helpful when more extensive treatment is needed to treat post-accident injuries. Your auto insurance will not necessarily pay for your treatment, either. The last thing you want to think about – when your neck hurts and your head is pounding – is how you are going to pay for your treatment.
Your auto insurance policy may cover damage to your car, damage to the other car and injuries to the other driver. But it won’t pay for treatment of your injuries unless you have “Medical Payments” (Med Pay) coverage. This coverage is inexpensive and is not the same as your liability coverage. Med Pay pays for your treatment (whether you were at fault or not) when you are injured in an auto accident.
“But it wasn’t my fault! The other party’s insurance should pay for it!” Sure, you could choose to pursue payment from the other (third party) auto insurance, but it may not be worth the hassle. Third party insurance does not pay for treatment of your injuries. They only offer you a settlement at the end of your care. Settlement offers are often for much less than the cost of your treatment, and It can take up to 2 years after the accident for you to get paid.
If you have Med Pay coverage, your doctor’s office can bill your auto insurance directly. Most Med Pay policies will pay 100% of your treatment charges. Using your Med Pay will not raise your premium. Remember, you bought this coverage and you will not be penalized for using it. Your insurance will be reimbursed by the other party’s insurance when your case closes.
Don’t wait for an accident to make sure you have adequate Med Pay coverage! Check your policy today and call your insurance broker if you have questions or want to make changes to your policy. And for soft tissue injuries, give our office a call. If we think a referral is warranted (for x-rays, MRI or medical co-management) we will be happy to provide it.
Dr. Wells Top 5 Tips for Staying Safe on the Road
- Stay alert and focused on the road. Distracted drivers are unsafe drivers. Put your cell phone AWAY!
- Drive a safe speed for the conditions.
- Always fasten your lap and shoulder belt.
- Make sure your headrest is positioned even with the top of your head.
- Maintain a safe distance (at least 2 seconds) from the car in front of you. You may be a safe driver but you cannot control the drivers around you. If you are rear-ended, at least you won’t double your injuries by being pushed into the car ahead of you.