Medical Expenses from Car AccidentAuto insurance plans may or may not include a policy called “medical expense” coverage or Med Pay, as it’s known in Virginia. This is an extra part of your policy that isn’t automatically included but can be added for a relatively low monthly fee. If you have Med Pay, understand how it can be used if you get into a car accident.

What is Medical Expense Coverage?

Medical expense coverage (Med Pay) is issued by your auto insurance company. It can be used to help pay for a portion of your medical bills and lost wages from missed time from work due to an accident if you were employed at the time of the crash. But there are limitations to the amounts and qualifications of this coverage if you have it. 

Whether you have Med Pay or not, we recommend you contact an experienced accident lawyer who can handle negotiations with insurance companies and represent your interests with regard to vehicle repairs and reimbursement for any injuries you may have sustained in the crash. Under Virginia law, you have the right to seek compensation for losses resulting from an accident, including the cost of repairing your vehicle and various medical expenses you incur. These recoverable costs are called damages.

Why Med Pay is Important

Med Pay is an optional part of your auto insurance policy, but you’ll be glad you have it if you ever need it, especially since it’s a relatively low monthly cost to include it in your coverage. Medical expense coverage like Med Pay can be helpful in recovering a limited amount of expenses you incur as a result of an accident—even if you are partially or wholly at fault for the crash. One of the benefits of Med Pay is that it is “no-fault” coverage that will pay out no matter who caused the accident.

When Med Pay is included on an insurance policy and an accident occurs, three types of people can submit costs to insurance for reimbursement:

  • People in the insured motor vehicle at the time of the accident
  • The person carrying the insurance – for example, if they were entering or exiting the vehicle
  • Spouse and relatives of the insured who share a residence with that person

How Much Is Med Pay Worth?

If you have to miss work due to a motor vehicle accident, Med Pay starts the day you miss work and will continue for as many days as you subsequently have to miss work, up to a year. Med Pay can also be used for things like co-pays at doctors, hospitals, and therapists. However, the amount of money paid from Med Pay is not a lot: the maximum is $100 per week. Over a year, that maximum is only $5,200.

It’s important to note that in Virginia, “stacking” of insurance policies may be possible. For example, if you have three insured vehicles on the same policy and each policy includes Med Pay, you’ll have three times the amount of coverage. You’ll want to consult with an experienced Virginia personal injury law firm to understand whether stacking could apply to your case.

If you have health insurance, Med Pay works like secondary insurance, and you can receive reimbursements for out-of-pocket expenses like co-pays. But you must first pay those costs up and send receipts and proof of payment for reimbursement. Similarly, getting reimbursed for missed time from work will require documentation from your employer. Med Pay can also be used if you don’t have health insurance.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

While all insurance recovery should be pursued, an experienced Virginia accident attorney can help you recover all the damages you’re entitled to receive under the law. Whether or not you have Med Pay coverage as part of your auto insurance policy, if you have been involved in an auto accident in Virginia, work with an experienced personal injury attorney who will fight for you.

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Working with Andrew and his team has been--without exception--one of the most pleasant, productive, and professional experiences of my adult life. I was seriously injured in an accident in July, 2018, in Virginia. I was driving a company vehicle that was registered in Maryland, for a company that was based in Wisconsin. And I live in New Jersey, where my personal vehicles are insured. The several jurisdictions involved presented a very unique case that demanded an experienced and nuanced strategy. I found Andrew Thomas (of Dulaney, Lauer, & Thomas) through some online research. And it is noteworthy that Andrew has worked the other side of the aisle--he used to work with insurance companies. Andrew took on my case with the assurance that he would work it with no less energy than he does each of his cases. At each turn, and with each question I had, Andrew and Paralegal Misty kept me informed, returned my calls, provided detailed explanations, and kept me feeling like I was in the loop and there was an eventual end to our journey. Nearly five years after the accident, we settled out of court for a significant sum in recognition of my personal injuries. The settlement was much more than I had expected. And without Andrew & Misty, I am sure the award would have been much less. If you are looking for professionalism, knowledge, dedication, answerability, responsiveness, integrity, and human-level communication from a personal injury attorney--look no further. You have found him. Thank you, Andrew and Misty. Gary Daley
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