How do I get my medical expenses paid after a car accident?

by John McKiggan

One of the most common reasons I am contacted by people who have been injured in car accidents in Nova Scotia is because they are concerned about all the medical expenses they have piling up and they are confused about which insurance company should be paying their medical expenses.

The answer depends on whether you were a driver or passenger or a pedestrian or cyclist. It also depends on whether you have private medical expense coverage through work or through a spouse.

Who pays?

  1. If you are the injured driver or passenger in your own car, you make a claim to your own insurance company.
  2. If you are a passenger in someone else’s car, you will make a claim to the company that insured the car you were in at the time of the accident.
  3. If you are a pedestrian or a cyclist, you will make a claim to the insurance company that insured the car that hit you.
  4. If the car you are in (or that hit you) is not covered by insured, passengers in another car, pedestrians, and cyclists can make a claim to your “own” insurance company if you have an insured automobile.

What section of the car insurance policy applies?

There is a standard form automobile insurance policy in Nova Scotia. Under Section B of the standard car insurance policy, if you are injured in a car accident you are entitled to up to $50,000.00 in medical expense coverage. The coverage lasts for up to 4 years. If you have medical expenses that go beyond 4 years you will need to recover those expense either through your private medical insurance (if you have any) or through a claim against the other driver that caused your inureis.

Excess insurance

It is important to understand that the medical expense benefits under your car insurance policy is known as excess insurance or secondary pay coverage. What that means is that if you have any other medical expense coverage through a personal insurance policy or group benefits plan, the other is the primary insurer. That means you must submit your expenses to your private insurance first. Any expenses that are not covered by your primary insurance should then be covered under Section B of your car accident policy.

Want more information?

Take a look at this educational video.



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