Determining Who Pays for Physical Therapy After a Car Accident

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Recovering from injuries sustained in a car accident often requires extensive physical therapy. However, the costs of this necessary treatment can quickly add up. Determining who will pay these expenses depends on several factors, including who was at fault for the crash and what types of insurance policies are involved.

At-Fault Driver’s Insurance

If the other driver was deemed responsible for causing the car accident, their liability insurance will typically cover your medical costs, including physical therapy. Liability insurance is mandatory in most states, as it covers bodily injury and property damage that the policyholder causes to other parties.

After an accident, you would file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The claims adjuster will investigate the circumstances of the crash to confirm fault. If they determine their policyholder was liable, they should distribute funds to pay for your physical therapy treatment.

However, there are limits to how much the at-fault driver’s insurer will pay out. The minimum liability coverage required by law is shockingly low in most states

Your Automobile Insurance Policy

If the at-fault driver’s liability coverage is insufficient or non-existent, your own auto insurance policy may step in to cover physical therapy costs. There are two types of coverage to consider:

  • Medical Payments (MedPay): This optional coverage pays for you and your passengers’ medical expenses stemming from an accident, regardless of who is at fault. It acts as primary insurance before health insurance kicks in. MedPay coverage usually has limits between $1,000 and $10,000.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM): You may be able to file a claim under your own UM/UIM coverage if the at-fault driver has little or no liability insurance. This covers situations when drivers break the law by driving without insurance or carry very low limits.

Using MedPay or UM/UIM benefits requires promptly notifying your insurer of the accident and submitting evidence of expenses incurred. Be aware that you may need to reimburse your insurer if you also receive a settlement from the at-fault driver.

Health Insurance

One of the most vital resources for paying physical therapy bills is your health insurance plan. After a car accident, health insurance can cover some or all of your treatment costs, depending on the plan’s benefits and coverage terms.

Be prepared to pay deductibles and copays for physical therapy sessions. Many health insurance policies have coinsurance rates for these services, where you pay 10-50% of the total fees. Also, some plans limit the number of PT visits allowed per year or require preauthorization.

If you have a Medicare or Medicaid policy, coverage for post-accident physical therapy varies by state. Medicare typically covers around 80% of approved PT costs, after satisfying your Part B deductible. Medicaid programs in many states provide at least some coverage for medically necessary physical rehabilitation. Contact your specific plan to learn about stipulations in your policy.

Out-of-Pocket Payment

Even with insurance coverage, you may end up paying for some physical therapy costs out-of-pocket following an auto accident. This is common if you have a high health insurance deductible or exhaust the limits of the at-fault driver’s liability policy. In these situations, work directly with your physical therapy office to arrange financing options. Many providers allow you to set up interest-free payment plans or offer discounted rates for direct payment.

Personal Injury Protection

A handful of states require drivers to carry personal injury protection (PIP) or no-fault coverage. This optional coverage pays for medical expenses resulting from a crash, regardless of who was at fault. PIP has established limits, often $2,500 to $10,000. If your treatment costs go beyond the PIP limit, you would need to use other insurance coverage.

Personal Injury Lawsuits

As a last resort, injury victims can pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit if their damages exceed available insurance. You may consider this route if you accumulated substantial medical bills and other losses. An experienced personal injury attorney can determine if you have a viable case and help negotiate a settlement or litigate in court on your behalf.

Any settlement or award won would reimburse you for the cost of physical therapy and other accident-related expenses. However, keep in mind lawsuits can drag on for months or years before victims see any compensation. Immediately after an accident, insurance policies offer the fastest way to pay for expensive physical rehabilitation.

Final Thoughts

At Innovative Healthcare Centers, we understand the challenges you may face after a car accident, especially when it comes to covering the costs of essential physical therapy. If you’re wondering who foots the bill for your rehabilitation in Maryland, let us help. Our dedicated team is here to guide you through the process and provide clarity on your options. Don’t let financial concerns hold you back from the care you need to heal and regain strength. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward recovery. Your well-being is our priority, and we’re committed to supporting you every step of the way.