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In a Car Accident? First Thing You Should Know.

Posted by Sami Thalji | Aug 11, 2021

Car accident information and videos posted by lawyers can be very annoying and very boring. However, there is one issue that seems to come up quite a bit that people should know about. If you're in a car accident and go to the emergency room they make you sign a bunch of paperwork guaranteeing payment for services, they'll take your health insurance information (if you have it), but they do not know typically get the information from the actual source of payment. That is because you don't have that information at the time you go to the hospital. You see, your car insurance's personal injury protection (PIP) coverage pays the first $10,000 of your medical bills regardless of fault. This is great for consumers because you don't have to reimburse your insurance company for these payments after you settle your claim. The problem is if you're going to the emergency room after a car accident then you certainly don't have a PIP claim number to give the hospital as you haven't even had time to report the claim. It is vital that you or your lawyer set up the claim with your car insurance company, get a PIP claim number, and then call the hospital's billing department as soon as possible to give them that number and instruct them to bill your car insurance. 

Doing this helps you in a number of ways. First, you don't have to pay back any monies for your PIP insurance. That means more money in your pocket at the end of your settlement. Second, if you don't give the hospital this information they will either bill your health insurance or just send you the bill. This presents even more problems. If they bill your health insurance then you will have to pay back your health insurer if you gain a settlement from your car accident. That means less money in your pocket and that is not good. If they just send you a bill then that will kill your case because that bill will likely be well north of $15,000. Your PIP might have cleared a $15,000 hospital bill with a $3500 payment, But, if you are receiving the bill and PIP hasn't paid then the hospital is going to want the full $15,000 out of your pocket. That is unfair and ridiculous and will likely cost you your entire settlement. 

Finally, you'll want to make sure that the hospital bills your PIP as soon as possible. If you need to continue treatment after your emergency room visit then the next group of medical providers your lawyer will send you to include, chiropractors, physical therapists, diagnostic imaging centers, and medical specialists (Orthopedic doctors, Neurologists, etc.). These providers will bill your PIP and exhaust the $10,000 available before the hospital gets any money. Thus, you'll be left holding the bag on the hospital bill. If the hospital bills first and gets paid, then the balance of PIP can go to these vendors and whatever bills remain outstanding can be negotiated by your lawyer (Florida Consumer Lawyers). This is a small, technical, but very practical tip that we see a lot of lawyers ignore, but it can either cost you or save you thousands upon thousands of dollars. 

About the Author

Sami Thalji

Sami Thalji is a native Floridian, born in Clearwater and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida. Sami graduated from Osceola High School in Seminole, Florida before attending and receiving both his Bachelor of Science and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida in Ga...


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