Doctors' Choice Physical Medicine

Weird Car Accidents Covered By Auto Insurance

Weird car accidents are.. well weird!  As you know not all car accidents are the same.  Some have multiple cars.  Other accidents involve two cars.  Some accidents are only one car crashes.  Would you believe some car accidents don’t involve a crash?  Weird, right?

Oops, are veterinarian bills covered under my auto policy?

During the past year, we treated a few patients that had such non-crash car accidents.  At first, the patients didn’t believe that their car insurance was responsible for their medical bills from their weird car accidents.  But the medical pay portion or their car insurance paid 100% of their medical bills.  No deductible, no copays.  Insurance rates did not go up.  Here are a few of their stories…

Weird Car Accidents: Changing The Car Battery

The non-crash injury occurred when the patient was removing the battery from his car.  He was standing on a stool to pull the battery out.  As he lifted the battery the stool kicked out from underneath his feet.  His head and upper body went forward slamming on the engine.  He pinched his fingers underneath the battery.  He then fell backwards onto the stool and pavement.  Ouch! Yep an auto accident because the weird car accident involved “the use and maintenance” of the car.  Too bad there is not a video of this one.

Weird Car Accidents: The Junk Yard Accident

This weird car accident occurred when the patient was removing a wheel from a car at a junk yard.  As he lifted the wheel off the hub on the junker car, he twisted his back.  The interesting thing to note is that he hurt his back not taking the wheel off his car, but a junker.  Another covered weird auto accident because the accident involved “the use and maintenance” of a car.

Weird Car Accidents: Vacuuming The Car

A third non-crash weird auto accident occurred to a woman while she was cleaning her car.  She was contorted in the front passenger area vacuuming the carpets getting ready for vacation.  As she attempted to move to another position, she twisted and hurt her back.  The back injury canceled her vacation.  But her medical bills were covered 100% because the injury involved the “use and maintenance” of a car.

Weird Car Accidents: The Run-Away Truck

Another involved a father and daughter.  The dad was out in the brush with his two young daughters.  He put both of the kids in the truck and went to load some material in the truck bed.  He believes somehow the youngest daughter moved the truck into neutral and the truck started rolling down the hill in the field.  The one daughter bounced around in the truck most likely hitting the steering wheel with her chin.  The dad chased the runaway truck.  He caught up to the runaway truck, grabbed the handle, and opened the door.  As the door opened, it threw him to the ground and he ended up rolling end over end.  The young daughter presented with neck pain and headaches.  The dad presented with injuries to his chest, left back, and left shoulder.  Both the dad’s and daughter’s were covered under thier auto accident policy.

Weird Car Accidents: No Tennis Today

Another covered auto accident occurred when a patient reached inside his car to get his tennis racket.  He reached in through the window and as he was withdrawing, he bumped his head on the window frame.  He presented with neck pain and tingling traveling down his arm.  Once again all medical expenses were covered at 100% by his auto policy.

Coverage Denied!

We had another patient that hurt her back taking groceries out of the trunk.  Her car insurance carrier denied this claim.  It seems loading and unloading a motor vehicle is not covered by car insurance.  As far as I know, neither is just getting in or out of the car a covered auto accident.

What To Do

If your injury involves a motor vehicle in any way always tell the doctor.  It is easier to get the accident history and paperwork right the first time.  If you or your doctor submits the medical bills from the car accident to your health insurance company the health insurance typically issues you a questionnaire.  They want to know if the injury was related to a work and car accident.  In the instance of a car accident, your health insurance claim will be denied because the car accident injury is not a covered expense under your medical insurance.  So it is smart to bill the car insurance first and get right the first time.  Save yourself the paperwork and the headache of straightening out the claim.

In Pennsylvania, the least amount of “medical insurance” coverage in your car insurance policy is $5,000.00, but it may be much more.  It depends upon the policy you bought.  Since Pennsylvania is a “No Fault” state, if you are injured in a car accident, your medical expenses from the injury is paid by your car insurance.  No deductable, no copays.  I have never known a car insurance rate to go up from a no-crash injury.

This article is not written to give medical or legal advice.  You should always consult your medial or legal professional.


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Doctors’ Choice Physical Medicine and Rehab comment

Dr. David Novatnak

Glee Pascual, Physical Therapist

Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA

This information is solely advisory, and should not be substituted for medical or chiropractic advice.  Any and all health care concerns, decisions, and actions must be done through the advice and counsel of a health care professional who is familiar with your medical history.