You may have medical payments coverage (medpay) as part of your automobile liability insurance.
You can find this out by looking at your auto policy, or by calling your agent. The state does not require this coverage, which means it can take a lot of different forms. But if you have it, it almost always requires your auto insurance company to reimburse you or your doctors for bills for medical treatment you require as the result of an auto accident, up to a limit. I have seen limits as low as $1,000 and as high as $25,000.00.
Sometimes the policy only allows the money to be paid directly to your doctor; other times, it can be paid directly to you, regardless whether you have paid the doctor. Most Ohio auto policies I have seen carry this type of coverage, but it is not required.
There are disadvantages to using this coverage. Any payment by an insurance company for your benefit almost always entitles the insurance company to recover that payment when your claim against the other driver is settled. So if you have auto insurance, and the policy carries $10,000.00 in medical payments coverage, that money may be available to you when you need it; but when you settle your case against the person who caused your car accident, your insurance company will be there with its hand out, wanting its money back.
Sometimes you have to use medpay. For instance, if you need an operation and your regular insurance won’t pay for it, the medpay benefits might be enough to make a down payment to the doctor. Or, if the policy allows the insurance company to make payments directly to you, you can use it for anything you need.
I often don’t like to advise my clients to apply for medical payments coverage, because when the case is settled, they usually want as much cash as I can get them. And frequently, creditors are willing to take less than the amount owed, because they don’t want to hire attorneys to pursue the claim in court. By contrast, the insurance company nearly always wants all of its money back at the end of the case, and it always has a lawyer it can hire.
Regardless, this is a personal decision, and you have a right to make it with the best advice possible. And if you want advice from an experienced Injury Attorney in Cincinnati, please give me a call at 513-621-4775, and we can discuss it.