I was a pedestrian hit by a car. What should I do?
A brief summary of what you should do when injured as a pedestrian to get your medical expenses paid.
Who is a pedestrian?
A pedestrian is someone walking, walking or sometimes riding a bicycle, and someone in a wheelchair, even if the wheelchair is powered. ORS 742.518(6).
Who Pays an Injured Pedestrian's Medical Bills?
When a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle, the pedestrian's auto insurer will pay the pedestrian's medical bills under its personal injury protection coverage or PIP. ORS 742.520(1). The auto insurer for the vehicle that hit the pedestrian will pay the pedestrian's medical bills under its PIP coverage but only if the pedestrian does not have auto insurance or health insurance and is not entitled to health insurance under a state or federal plan. ORS 742.526(1)(e).
How Much of My Medical Bills will the Auto Insurer Pay?
The amount of medical expenses PIP will pay depends on the insurance policy. PIP is required to pay at least $15,000 in medical expenses under Oregon law. ORS 742.524(1)(a). Some insurance policies pay more, so make sure to get a copy of the policy and read it.
For How Long Will the Auto Insurer Pay for Medical Treatment?
How long an auto insurer will pay PIP for your medical treatment depends on the insurance policy. Auto insurance companies are required to pay for medical treatment incurred within 2 years of the MVA under Oregon law. ORS 742.524(1)(a). Some policies require the insurance companies to pay for treatment received within more 2 years of the MVA so make sure to get a copy of the policy and read it.
How can I Get the Auto Insurer to Pay My Medical Bills?
To get the auto insurer to pay your medical bills you need to file a PIP claim with the responsible insurance company. If you have auto insurance, have your insurance agent open a PIP claim. Remember you can make a claim against the driver’s insurance company if you didn’t have insurance so make sure to get the name of the driver's insurance company and policy number so you can make a PIP claim against the driver's policy. Once a PIP claim has been set up, the insurance company should give you the name and contact information of the claims representative and a PIP claim number. Make sure to bring that information with you when you see your doctor's so they can bill the insurance company providing the PIP benefits.
For more information about PIP coverage.
Read the following article on my webpage What is Personal Injury Protection Insurance in Oregon?
You can also read about PIP coverage in the following article from the Oregon State Bar Association: Personal Injury Protection.
Gary R. Johnson is a Central Oregon attorney who has handled personal injury cases since 1994.