Being in a car accident can lead to injuries that require ongoing physical therapy. But with the high cost of healthcare, accident victims often wonder – who is responsible for paying for post-crash physical therapy? Depending on who was at fault and what insurance coverages come into play, the financial burden could fall to you, the other driver, or your respective insurance companies.
When The Other Driver Pays
If the other driver was clearly at fault for the accident, their auto liability insurance will typically pay for your medical costs, including physical therapy. Maryland follows an at-fault system, meaning the negligent driver who caused the crash is liable for damages. All states require drivers to have minimum liability coverage to pay for injuries to others. Many policies have medical payments coverage that will immediately pay for treatment like physical therapy, up to policy limits.
To get the at-fault driver’s insurer to cover your physical therapy in Maryland, you must prove:
- The other motorist was negligent and primarily caused the accident. Police reports, witness statements, and photographic evidence can establish fault.
- Your injuries and need for therapy directly resulted from the crash. Your doctor will need to document and explain the link between the accident trauma and therapy requirements.
- The treatment is medically necessary. Therapists must demonstrate how therapy facilitates recovery from specific accident-related impairments.
If total therapy costs exceed the liable driver’s policy limits, their insurer will only pay up to the maximum amount. You would need to rely on your own auto med pay coverage or health insurance for the balance.
When You Have to Pay
Insurance laws are designed to have the at-fault party pay for damages. But in these scenarios, you could end up footing at least part of the therapy bills:
- You were fully or partially at fault for causing the accident. Maryland follows contributory negligence, so even 1% of fault bars recover. Your liability insurer can’t pay for your own care.
- The other driver didn’t have adequate insurance. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage helps here. This is important in MD where minimum liability limits are $30,000.
- Injuries worsened an existing condition needing therapy before the accident. The other driver is only liable for the additional therapy required.
- You missed insurance claim deadlines. Auto med pay in Maryland often has a 1-2 year window.
- Treatment isn’t deemed medically necessary or directly tied to the crash. Insurers could deny coverage in full or part.
- Exceeding policy limits. Auto coverage caps at a few thousand to tens of thousands.
- Minor accident with no apparent injuries at the scene. Symptoms like whiplash manifesting later makes insurers reluctant to pay extensive therapy costs.
Using Your Own Insurance
If the other driver’s insurance won’t or can’t pay, turn to your auto policy’s medical payments coverage, which covers medical costs regardless of fault. Med pay applies after a deductible and continues even if you recover from the at-fault driver later.
Uninsured motorist coverage can also pay for post-accident therapy if the other driver had no insurance and you suffered bodily injury. This protects you and passengers. Underinsured motorist coverage activates when the at-fault party’s policy limits are too low to cover the value of your injury claim.
The statute of limitations in Maryland for injury claims is generally 3 years. But you must still comply with deadlines in your auto and health insurance policies, which are often 1-2 years.
Consult with a Maryland personal injury attorney to fully understand your rights and options if you need extensive therapy after an accident. They can help navigate the insurance process and ensure you receive the maximum allowable benefits.
FAQ For Physical Therapy After A Car Accident
What Should I Do Immediately After a Car Accident If I Need Physical Therapy?
After a car accident, your primary concern should be your health and safety. Seek medical attention as needed. Report the accident to the police and your insurance company. You should also consult with a medical professional who can recommend the appropriate treatment, which may include physical therapy.
Can I File a Third-Party Liability Claim For Physical Therapy Expenses?
If someone other than the at-fault driver is responsible for the accident (e.g., a property owner or a manufacturer), you may be able to file a third-party liability claim against them to cover your medical expenses, including physical therapy.
Is There a Time Limit For Seeking Compensation For Physical Therapy After a Car Accident?
Many states have statutes of limitations that set a specific time frame within which you must file a personal injury claim. It’s important to act promptly to ensure you meet any legal deadlines for seeking compensation.
Get Started Today
If you’ve been injured in a car accident and are wondering how to cover the costs of your physical therapy, we’re here to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our experienced team. We’ll work with you to navigate the insurance process and provide the care you need to recover and regain your mobility.