If you or a loved one were a pedestrian hit by a car recently, you’re probably wondering what you should do next. As an Oregon personal injury lawyer, I handle a lot of car accident cases, so I thought I’d put together a quick and helpful guide on how to get your medical expenses paid after a pedestrian accident.
I Was a Pedestrian Hit by a Car. What Should I Do?
What’s the Definition of a Pedestrian under Oregon Law?
First off – who is considered a pedestrian? Oregon law says that a pedestrian is someone walking, or sometimes both walking and riding a bicycle. Additionally, someone in a wheelchair is also defined as a pedestrian, even if the wheelchair is powered. If you were a pedestrian on a crosswalk when you were hit, read this blog post.
Can a Pedestrian Hit By a Car Get Compensation?
If you, as a pedestrian, are hit by a vehicle (this can be a car, truck or a motorcycle), your own auto insurance will pay the medical bills under its personal injury protection coverage (or PIP).
There are some cases when the insurance company for the car that hit you will pay your medical bills under its own PIP coverage. This mostly happens when you don’t have auto or health insurance, or are not entitled to health insurance under a state or federal plan.
How Much of My Medical Bills Will the Insurance Pay?
The amount of medical expenses PIP covers depends on your insurance policy. PIP is required to pay at least $15,000 in medical expenses under Oregon law. Some insurance policies pay more, so make sure to get a copy of the policy and read it.
For How Long Will the Car Insurer Pay for Medical Treatment?
This really all depends on your specific insurance policy. Under Oregon law, car insurance companies must pay for your medical treatments received within 2 years after the accident. In some cases, that period can be longer however. It’s again a good idea to sit down and give that policy a Sunday afternoon deep read.
What’s the Process to Get the Insurance to Pay My Medical Bills?
As a first step, you need to file a PIP claim with the responsible insurance company.
Have your insurance agent open a PIP claim if you’re filing with your own insurance company. Remember – you can make a claim against the driver’s insurance if you didn’t have your own. So make sure to get the name and policy number of the driver’s insurance at the scene of the accident, or as soon as possible after.
Once a PIP claim has been set up, the insurance should give you a claim number and the name and contact info for your claims representative. Always bring that information with you when you see your doctor. That way they can bill the insurance company providing the PIP benefits.
What Should I Do if the Insurance Company Denies My Claim?
There are instances when an insurance company denies a claim. Maybe some information was inaccurately filled out, or perhaps they said they considered your treatments “not reasonable or necessary”.
This is the point at which you pick up the phone and call a personal injury lawyer. They can help you negotiate the obscure legal world of insurance claims and get you the compensation you deserve. Take care however when choosing your personal injury attorney. They should be well versed in insurance law, have local connections to courts and judges, and be fully prepared to take your case to court.