Can I Use Medpay After a Store Injury?
Every year, over a million Americans suffer injuries due to slips, trips, and other falls, resulting in as many as seventeen thousand deaths. An alarming number of these accidents take place in retail stores and other corporate establishments, and many of these are the result of negligence or other error by the company. Preventable accidents which result in serious injuries are the basis of frequent premises liability lawsuits, as personal injury attorneys attempt to hold big corporations accountable for their actions.
In order to recover in a premises liability case, such as a slip and fall or trip and fall, an attorney must be able to prove that there was a hazardous condition at the store which caused the injuries, and that the hazardous condition was either the fault of the store or was something that the store should have known about and corrected. It isn’t enough to merely show injury, and it isn’t enough to merely show that the store made a mistake; the two have to be related.
Most corporations and retail stores use a risk management company or other insurance agency to handle claims made by injured customers. Because these companies attempt to limit the liability and payments made, they will typically contest fault in every situation. A personal injury attorney can help to force a risk management company to accept responsibility and pay for the injuries caused by the store’s negligence.
Unfortunately, this can be a lengthy process. It can take months or even longer to convince the store to accept responsibility, and even after they do, they will likely not settle right away. Even if they are willing to settle, a victim may still be in treatment, with bills piling up.
Under such circumstances, the victim of a slip and fall or other premises liability case may be able to utilize Medical Payments coverage from the insurance policy on the store. MedPay coverage is a supplementary rider which can be used even if fault has not yet been determined. It usually has a firm limit after which it will not make any other payments, but can still be used to cover some of the initial costs of treatment. Cohen & Cohen, P.C.
Not all stores maintain MedPay coverage, as it is optional and usually requires a separate premium. It is often seen when a business anticipates possible claims but does not want to go through litigation on everyone. In order to access MedPay, a personal injury attorney may need to request a full copy of the policy or take other steps to force the company to release it.
Even when MedPay is available, utilizing it may not always be the best option. In some jurisdictions, MedPay can subrogate against the proceeds of a larger liability settlement, making it more like a loan to be paid back out of the proceeds of the case. In others, accepting MedPay may even waive the claim against the responsible party, which can completely ruin the entire case. You should always discuss options carefully with your personal injury attorney before making a decision about which type of coverage to pursue.