When injured in an automobile accident, a person may believe the at-fault party is automatically responsible for their medical expenses.  However, even if the at-fault party admits they were liable and therefore responsible for the injuries, the insurance company has no duty to advance medical expenses to a party they do not insure.  This may not seem fair to those injured in an car accident due to the negligence of another.

Thankfully, drivers can protect themselves through their own insurance coverage.  Drivers can purchase MedPay coverage (Medical Payments Coverage) along with their own auto insurance.  MedPay does provide for advancement of medical expenses for the covered parties.

MedPay is considered a “no-fault” insurance, so fault does not have to be determined before an insured can use the coverage.  And, MedPay coverage has many benefits beyond covering an insured driving their own insured vehicle.  It extends coverage to an insured riding as a passenger in another vehicle, family members driving the insured vehicle, passengers in the insured vehicle and an insured or family member who is struck as a pedestrian.

Keep in mind that MedPay coverage, like uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, is an optional coverage that it is not automatically included in an insured’s car insurance package.  This coverage and the amount of coverage must be specifically chosen by the insured.  Benefit levels can range as low as $1,000 and as high as $100,000.  These are per person and per accident rates.

Again, like uninsured/underinsured coverage, MedPay is a very good deal typically adding only a few dollars to a monthly premium.   In light of the high number of uninsured and underinsured motorist in New Mexico, MedPay and uninsured/underinsured coverage are both essential for the protection of drivers and their families.  In light of the relatively low costs of these coverages, there is no good reason to go without them.

MedPay include covers a wide array of medical expenses such as ambulance transport, emergency room or hospital services, surgery expenses, x-ray and other diagnostic services, doctor visits and even funeral costs.

For those lucky enough to have health insurance, MedPay may seem unnecessary.  Yet, health insurance often requires a a deductible and almost always comes with co-pays.  Even a relatively small co-pay can be a burden following a car accident when a injured person is forced to miss work and suffers lost earnings.

Health insurance may also restrict the type of medical care received to only plan-approved physicians and providers.  MedPay allows some flexibility in where treatment is sought, which may well be worth the extra premium expense, particularly when it may mean shorter transport time to an out-of-network facility.

The last thing an injured person should have to worry about following a car accident that was caused by someone else is whether or not they can afford the medical care they need.  MedPay insurance can help remove the burden of this decision and avoid costly delays in the recovery process.