Even at low speeds, Seattle motorcycle accidents often cause serious injuries to the rider. Without the common safety protections provided in cars—such as seat belts, airbags, and a metal cage—riders are subjected to more instances of blunt force trauma, fractures, damaged organs, spinal cord injuries, and brain injuries. Many of these injuries – from torn ACLs to broken wrists to broken necks – require surgery.
How can you afford these expensive surgeries, and who is ultimately responsible for the bill at the end of the day? It’s essential to know all your options for how to pay for surgery after a motorcycle accident—including holding the at-fault driver liable for injury compensation.
Using Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or MedPay Coverage
Some people assume that if they have car insurance or motorcycle insurance, it covers any expenses related to accidents that they have. Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily true, and the vast majority of people don’t carry enough insurance or the right type to cover all accident injury expenses.
Some motorcycle riders in Washington may have optional Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or MedPay as part of their vehicle insurance plan. PIP covers medical bills and other expenses, like lost wages, while MedPay only covers medical expenses.
However, it’s important to note that motorists and motorcycle riders aren’t required by Washington state law to carry PIP. Although most insurers are mandated to offer it, riders can reject the coverage in writing.
Unless you’ve elected for more coverage, PIP plans often only cover the first $10,000 of medical costs. The surgery or surgeries that you require after a crash may be significantly more than that, especially in addition to other medical expenses such as:
- Emergency room treatment
- Ambulance rides
- Doctors’ visits
- Medical equipment
- Therapy and rehabilitation
How to Pay for Surgery After a Motorcycle Accident: Health Insurance Coverage
Your private or public health insurance plan may be another option for paying for surgeries related to motorcycle crash injuries. However, you shouldn’t assume all your medical costs will be covered by insurance. As you might know from past experience, health insurance often only kicks in after you hit an annual deductible, and many plans require copays or for you to pay a certain percentage of costs.
In addition, your insurance may not cover certain medications, medical equipment, and other associated costs of surgery and recovery, like lost wages.
The bottom line? Even with PIP, MedPay, and health insurance coverage, the surgeries you require for full recovery are expensive.
Responsibility of the Parties at Fault to Compensate for Your Injuries
In Washington, the individual or entities found liable for the accident should also be held responsible for footing the bill. Clearly establishing who was at fault for your bike accident is vital for getting your surgery costs covered and reimbursed—and a skilled motorcycle injury lawyer may be able to help you do that.
In many cases, a few of your early medical expenses may be covered by a PIP or MedPay plan. Then, if you have health insurance, it might also cover some or most of your medical expenses like surgery, depending on your policy.
However, if you file a claim and have the at-fault party’s insurance coverage pay for your medical expenses, you’ll be paid for your out-of-pocket costs and your insurer is reimbursed for its payments as well.
Paying for Future Medical Costs
It’s imperative to keep in mind that medical costs don’t end after your initial trip to the emergency room or after surgery. Treatment expenses can continue for days, months, or even years after a motorcycle accident. You may require ongoing medications, rehabilitation, or follow-up surgeries—and these costs add up.
For this reason, you must ensure that your legal team thoroughly calculates and secures compensation for your past, current, and future medical needs when filing a motorcycle accident claim.
Think Before Signing Settlement Offers
Insurance companies often attempt to save money by quickly sending motorcycle crash victims settlement offers after a crash, especially if it’s obvious their policyholder was at fault. These settlement offers frequently underestimate all related medical expenses—and signing these offers may result in you getting stuck with more costs in the future.Be sure to speak with a knowledgeable Seattle motorcycle accident attorney before giving statements about your accident to insurers and definitely prior to accepting any offers.