Who pays for my medical treatment after a pedestrian accident?

runner hit by car shoes glasses in roadAfter you have been struck by a car while walking or cycling, you are unfortunately at the beginning of a long and arduous journey. The injuries sustained in these kinds of accidents may be extensive, and healthcare providers are going to want payment for your medical bills as quickly as possible. While you may win compensation for your medical bills and other damages in an injury lawsuit, it can take months before the matter is resolved—what should you do in the meantime?

Ways to Pay Medical Bills After a Pedestrian Accident

Tennessee subscribes to the “fault” system for car accident injuries, so the person who caused the accident is legally liable for paying for your medical bills and other losses related to the crash. This means you will file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, and the insurance company should pay the hospital bill. However, this does not always go smoothly.

One of the biggest problems pedestrians encounter is that their injuries can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and may exceed the limit of insurance purchased by the driver.  If the injury costs more than the maximum coverage limit, the victim will have to collect additional coverage through other sources.

Victims can seek additional payment for their injuries through:

  • Their own health insurance. It is important that you see a doctor right away, both for your health and for the success of your injury claim. Don’t be afraid to pay bills using your own health insurance. These costs can always be recouped later when your claim is settled.
  • Their own auto insurance. Tennessee law requires injury victims to exhaust the other driver’s car insurance coverage before collecting under their own. There is an exception for hit-and-run accidents, since the victim will likely be unable to make a claim with the at-fault driver if he or she is never located. If your car insurance policy includes uninsured motorist coverage, it may be used to cover your expenses for injuries even though you were not driving at the time of the accident.
  • MedPay. Medical Payments coverage, or MedPay, is an optional form of insurance that is offered in addition to your own car insurance. It is up to each policyholder whether he or she will purchase MedPay, as well as the amount that will be provided after an accident. However, you must have it in advance of a collision in order to collect.
  • Medicaid. If you don’t have health insurance and you do not own a car, you may qualify for medical coverage through Medicaid. This federal health insurance program that provides medical coverage to patients without employer-sponsored or private health insurance. If you qualify, Medicaid will pay your medical bills going forward, and could be used to pay some of your past bills. You can check the requirements and apply for coverage through Tennessee’s Medicaid program.
  • A third party. There could be someone else whose negligence played a part in your accident. If you were struck by a drunk driver, you could have a case against the restaurant that over-served alcohol to the driver. If the car that struck you malfunctioned due to bad brakes or a stuck accelerator pedal, the auto manufacturer could be held liable. An attorney can investigate the accident on your behalf and tell you who can be named in your injury lawsuit.

A pedestrian accident is painful and debilitating enough without adding the financial consequences of the accident onto the victim. Our injury attorneys will fight to get you the maximum amount of compensation you deserve after a crash, and we do not collect anything from you until after your case is won. Simply fill out the short contact form on this page or request a free copy of our book, The 10 Worst Mistakes You Can Make With Your Tennessee Injury Case.