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Car Crashes and Medical Payments Coverage

Colorado law requires automobile insurance policies to offer Medical Payments coverage with a minimum of $5,000 in benefits for people injured in car crashes. The offering of this coverage is mandatory, and Colorado law at C.R.S.§ 10-4-635(1)(b) requires rejection of this coverage be in writing and signed by the insured.

This coverage is not very expensive, usually between $5-$10 per month, and provides payment of ambulance, hospital, medical and rehabilitation/physical therapy bills that are for "medically necessary and accident-related trauma care or medical care" under C.R.S. § 10-4-635(2)(a).

This Medical Payments coverage is in addition to health insurance, and is primary, meaning payments from this coverage are paid first before health insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, Workers Comp, or other medical insurance.

Licensed ambulance or air ambulance are paid first, then trauma physicians, then the emergency room or trauma center that provides emergency treatment, as required by C.R.S § 10-4-635(2). Thereafter, medical benefits coverage payments are made to treatment provides as the bills are submitted to your insurance company, until the coverage amount is used up.

Check with your insurance company to see how this Medical Payments coverage costs, and to see how much more it costs for additional coverage above the $5,000 minimum.

Medical Payments benefits are available for treatments of injuries from the crash (also referred to as "accident" or "collision") regardless of fault, per CRS § 10-4-636(4)(d). These benefits are available even if it is only your vehicle involved in the crash, and you are injured.

Colorado is a "tort" state, which means the insurance company for the at-fault driver who hit you is not under any obligation to pay your medical bills, or lost income, unless a claim is filed and a settlement is reached, or a lawsuit is filed and resolved by settlement or verdict. For more information, see our blog posts: Car Crash Claims in Colorado: What to Do, and Colorado Auto Insurance Explained.