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I just received an email with the question, “can you receive double medical coverage if you’re in an auto accident?” Here’s my email reply: I’m not sure what you mean exactly by “double medical coverage,” but I’m assuming your question is along the lines of: I was injured in a car accident that was not my fault. My health insurance paid for all my medical bills, so can I keep the whole settlement I get from the other driver’s insurance company? Short answer: Probably not. You may be able to get double recovery if you have ‘medical payments coverage’ under your own car insurance company. If you are a named insured, medical payments coverage is not subject to subrogation. Otherwise, if you don’t have medical payments coverage, then generally you cannot get ‘double recovery,’ unless the health insurance company does not have a subrogation provision. Insurances companies often have what’s called “a right to subrogation.” This simply means that they have a right to be reimbursed for what they pay (when someone else is at fault). Note that your insurance company only has a right to be reimbursed for the medical bills. So, they shouldn’t “touch” any recovery you get for lost income or pain and suffering. Here are a few examples: Cliff wasn’t paying attention while driving and runs in to Bob. Bob goes to the ER, gets some x-rays, and then is prescribed physical therapy for a few weeks. After a month or so, Bob is completely healed. His medical bills total $4,000 and his insurance company paid everything as they occurred. Bob ends up settling on...
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