By :Douglas A. Petho
Medical payments coverage is optional coverage which provides certain protection to insureds under a policy who are injured in an automobile accident. It is designed to provide reimbursement of medical expenses up to the policy limits purchased. Common coverage amounts can be as little as $500 and as much as $1 million.
Unlike a liability claim for negligence, medical payments coverage does not require a finding of fault or negligence on the part of a particular driver.
Medical payments coverage provides protection to insureds which are defined as “you or any family member” while occupying a motor vehicle or as a pedestrian struck by a motor vehicle. It also provides medical reimbursement to non-family members who occupying the motor vehicle insured in the policy or other motor vehicles operated by family members of the insured purchasing the policy.
Medical payments coverage can be collected in addition to any payments made under any liability coverage that may be available. There are a few exceptions. First, be if the insured is a passenger in an “at fault” vehicle whose medical payments coverage applies, the liability carrier would get a credit for medical payments coverage toward any money paid under the vehicles liability coverage. Second, if and uninsured motorist claim is being made by an insured, the uninsured motorist claim is credited to the extent any medical payments coverage been paid.
It is possible to stack medical payments coverage as well. Stacking refers to collecting under multiple policies of insurance. In the context of medical payments coverage, if medical bills exceed the amount of the coverage of the occupied vehicle, and excess medical payments coverage can be made against any medical payments policy which party is insured with. For example, if the injured party is a passenger in a non-owned vehicle, after exhausting the medical payments coverage on that vehicle, the injured passenger may pursue a medical payments claim against any vehicles which he or she owns or owned by any family members in the household in which the passengers related to by blood or marriage.
Properly identifying all coverage that may be available to an injured party can be complex. Before attempting to resolve any claim is important to make sure that all available insurance has been located. We at the Charlotte law firm of Price, Hargett, Petho and Anderson have been helping people with claims since 1979. Call for a free consultation.