Why Does My Car Insurance Pay for My Medical Bills?

In Oregon, when you are involved in an auto accident, your personal car insurance pays for your medical bills even if you are not at fault. At first this doesn’t seem to make sense. Why would my insurance pay for my medical bills when the other driver is at fault? The quick answer is that Oregon law requires all auto insurance policies to have no-fault medical coverage. This coverage is called “Personal Injury Protection” (PIP). This means no matter who is at fault for the car crash, everyone will be able to seek immediate medical treatment under his or her own car insurance policy.

Here is the rationale: we want all drivers in Oregon to have immediate access to medical care if they are injured. Without this law, if fault was disputed in a collision, insurance companies could choose to deny medical care because they might not believe their insured was at fault. The denial of medical care to those in need would make a bad situation worse and cause additional expenses and problems. The legislature enacted the law requiring PIP coverage to prevent this problem.

When you contract with your insurance company for auto insurance, part of your policy includes a minimum of $15,000 in PIP coverage. This means your auto insurance company is contractually obligated to pay for you or your passengers’ medical bills that are related to the car wreck. Even though your auto insurance company will pay for your medical bills up front, they will eventually seek to recover any amounts paid from the at fault party. The little green gecko may seem personable and forgiving on television but he’ll want to be paid back if the collision isn’t your fault. – Dan Rayfield, personal injury lawyer in the Willamette Valley region of Oregon.


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