Does Health Insurance Cover Car Accident Injuries?

A severely damaged vehicle after a car accident.

2021 saw some of the highest car accident rates, with a recorded 691 motorists killed and 3,387 others seriously injured. While the state has clear traffic safety objectives and goals for the coming year, it’s important to know what to do after a car accident, including who to turn to for medical bills and other expenses. 

Colorado law makes it clear that parties who caused an accident should be held liable partially or wholly. But as a victim, what are your options for recovering comprehensive and immediate damages to pay for mounting medical bills and other expenses? Today, we’ll be delving into how Colorado car insurance and health insurance plans go into effect after a car accident. 

Who Is Responsible for a Car Accident in Colorado?

No car accident is the same, and depending on your circumstances, multiple parties may be held liable for paying for your damages after a car accident. Car accident victims generally have three options they can turn to for collecting recovering damages: 

  • Filing a claim with your own car insurance company
  • Filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company
  • Filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver and/or other responsible parties 

Colorado was once a no-fault state, meaning all drivers carried their own personal injury insurance (PIP) to cover them in the event of a car accident.

In 2003, the state revised its auto laws and is now deemed “a fault insurance state” and follows modified comparative negligence laws

Under modified comparative negligence, the party responsible for a car accident must pay the victim damages. However, if the other driver was partially at fault, they will be held liable for their portion of the damages they’ve sustained. Typically, a jury will determine the percentage of responsibility each party owes, and damages will be paid out according to those percentages. 

For example, if an accident results in $10,000 in damages, but you are found to be 10% liable for causing the accident, you will only be awarded $9,000 in damages. 

Colorado Insurance Requirements for Minimum Liability

All drivers in Colorado must carry automobile insurance that includes the following minimums: 

  • $25,000 for each person for any bodily injuries
  • $50,000 for each accident if 1+ person is injured
  • $15,000 for each accident for property damage. This does not include damage to the insured’s vehicle.

After an accident, if the other driver files an accident claim, these mandatory minimums will go into effect. However, if damages exceed these minimums, a plaintiff can sue for additional damages through a personal injury claim.

Do I Need To Use My Medical Insurance for Car Accident Injuries?

When filing a claim against your insurance or the other driver’s insurance company, a settlement or verdict can take quite some time to reach. Injured individuals do not have time to wait for immediate medical treatment. Because of this, many victims will turn to their health insurance policy for coverage of injuries sustained. But how exactly does health insurance cover car accident injuries? 

After your insurance claim is settled, your health insurance company can go after the other driver to recover costs through a legal process known as subrogation. Subrogation allows the healthcare provider to recoup expenses while ensuring you do not get compensated twice for the same damages. Keep in mind that when turning to your health insurance, deductibles, co-payments, and other costs will still apply. 

Coverage Through Medicare and Medicaid After a Car Accident 

Similar to private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid can also kick in to cover the costs of the injuries you’ve sustained after an auto accident if you carry these policies. When a settlement or verdict is reached in your case, and you receive a compensation payout, you are required to alert Medicare or Medicaid to reimburse them.

Generally, these government-backed insurance policies will issue a demand letter asking for reimbursement through your settlement funds. You will have 60 days from receiving the demand letter to reimburse Medicare or Medicaid. After this 60-day window, interest will begin to accrue on the balance you owe. 

Car Accident Injury Coverage Through Colorado MedPay Insurance

Before Colorado switched to a modified comparative negligence state, all drivers had to carry personal injury protection insurance (PIP) policies. This policy kicked in to provide coverage for personal medical expenses that resulted from the car crash. 

After 2003, insurance providers were mandated to offer $5,000 MedPay coverage. This coverage works similarly to PIP Insurance, covering up to $5,000 in personal medical expenses following a car accident. Although this MedPay coverage is mandated, drivers can opt out of this benefit in writing. After an accident, they can also increase their MedPay amount.  

Auto Insurance Coverage Does Not Cover All of Your Expenses

It’s important to understand that auto insurance coverage may not cover all your medical bills and property damage after a car accident. Likewise, your healthcare insurance might not cover all your medical bills as well. 

Liable Parties Can Limit Your Out-of-Pocket Expenses 

Depending on your accident, different parties may pay out different portions of your expenses. For example, if your car accident involved a commercial vehicle such as a semi-truck and the driver was the at-fault party, you may be able to pursue legal action against the driver, the trucking company, and other third parties. Spreading out liability can help minimize your out-of-pocket expenses. 

When pursuing a legal claim, different parties may be liable to varying percentages for your expenses. This is why it is important to entrust the services of an experienced car accident attorney. An attorney will thoroughly investigate your case to determine the types of claims that should be filed and against whom. 

Recovering Damages Through a Personal Injury Lawsuit

In some cases, you may be able to pursue compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit. A lawsuit may come into play if: 

  • Your insurance company denies your claim or minimizes the damages you are entitled to
  • The insurance company of the other driver
  • The at-fault driver, if they were negligent in their actions
  • Other liable third parties

Discussing the specifics of your case with an experienced car accident attorney is essential. When you work with an attorney, they can evaluate your claim, push back against lowball settlements, and defend you in a trial if your course goes to court. 

Bachus & Schanker Is Here to Help You After a Car Accident Injury

Trust in the expertise of the car accident attorneys at Bachus & Schanker. Our attorneys offer dedicated legal support and have helped thousands of car accident victims just like you recover the compensation they deserve.

Reach out to our team today to schedule your free case evaluation and recover the justice and compensation you deserve after a car accident injury. 


C.R.S. § 10-1-135.

C.R.S. § 13-21-111.

State Highway Safety Report (2021) – Colorado.

Similar Posts