Car Accidents- Why Does My Insurance Company Pay?

This is a frequent question.  Most people think the driver at fault’s insurance company will be paying their medical bills.

Not so, and here’s why:  Not all car collisions have a clear at-fault person.  Sometimes, even if the injured person doesn’t want to admit it, there is fault on both sides.  If you are injured, you don’t want to wait the millions of years it takes for an insurance company to make a decision as to who is at fault.

And even if a person is at fault for their own collision, or it’s a one car accident, somewhere the powers that be decided that all motor vehicle insurance policies issued in Oregon had to have a medical payment portion called Personal Injury Protection- or PIP.  In Oregon these policies must be at least $15,000 and they last for one year.

In Washington, a driver can opt out of buying PIP insurance.  I have worked with many Washington drivers who have been in collisions in Oregon.  The fact they can’t get treatment without paying out of pocket has made me a big fan of PIP insurance.

So why does one’s OWN insurance get involved at all?  Basically so a person can get in and get treated and not wait for an insurance decision regarding fault.  If you are deemed at fault, you still get to go to medical professionals for treatment.

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