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Getting Medical Bills Paid After Accident with Uninsured Driver
“I was injured in an accident – it wasn’t my fault! But the other driver doesn’t have any insurance. How am I going to pay my medical bills paid?”
What do I do after a collision with an uninsured driver?
If you’ve been in an accident in Oregon, and the other driver was uninsured, you do have some options. According to the Insurance Research Council’s 2009 study, 10% of Oregon drivers are uninsured – a number that dramatic increased with the economic downturn. Luckily, in Oregon all drivers are required to have at least $15,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage.
What is Personal Injury Protection?
Personal injury protection will help pay both your medical bills and your lost wages up to $15,000. This is no fault insurance – meaning, even if you are the driver at fault, you can still get up to $15,000 in medical bills covered.
Normally, your PIP would only pay your medical bills and wages until the other driver’s insurance company starts paying bills for your claim. Then, your insurance company will bill the at-fault driver’s insurance for the money paid through PIP. If the other driver does not have insurance, however, you must use your own PIP to cover your bills and then, if you have health insurance, after $15,000 your medical insurance will have to pay your bills.
How do I get PIP to pay my bills?
To get your PIP coverage started, you must first call your insurance company and inform them about your accident. Your adjuster will explain to you the process. You should also explain to your medical providers that you would like your insurance company to be billed for any treatments.
What if $15,000 isn’t enough?
Since there are a lot of uninsured drivers in Oregon, each Oregon driver is also required to have at least $25,000 in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UIM). If your PIP will not cover all your bills, you can make a claim against your own insurance company for UIM compensation. Since $25,000 is the minimum UIM coverage needed, many drivers have more coverage – you can ask your adjuster what your limits are. Often suing your own insurance company can be much quicker than suing the at-fault driver’s insurance.
What if my insurance company won’t pay my bills?
If your insurance company is denying your injury claim, you should call and talk to an experienced Portland auto accident attorney. An attorney can help you decide what to do, can communicate with the insurance company for you, and ultimately the threat of lawsuit often prompts the insurance companies to settle so that they do not have to deal with the time and expense of trial.