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Who Pays for Physical Therapy Post-Car Accident?


If you’re in a car accident, it can lead to severe injuries. Many accidents stem from one of three driver behaviors—speeding, distracted driving, and improper turns.

When you find yourself in a situation where you’ve been injured in a car accident, you’re likely going to need medical treatment. Your treatment plan might include physical therapy. Physical therapy can be expensive, and that can leave you wondering who pays for it, which we detail more about below.

What is Physical Therapy?


Physical therapy, or PT, is something that your doctor could suggest as part of a comprehensive treatment plan if you have an illness or injury that makes it hard for you to do daily activities and tasks.

Physical therapy can help alleviate pain, improve functionality and also improve quality of life after an accident.

A physical therapist works with patients to evaluate their condition and create a plan for their therapy. They might use hands-on treatments and also teach you exercises that you can work on independently.

After a car accident, physical therapy can help speed up your recovery time, improve your range of motion and strengthen your muscles. You can regain strength with physical therapy, reducing the amount of time it’ll take to see improvements.

Going to a physical therapist can also help prevent further damage or worsening of your injuries, and it reduces the potential that you might need prescription painkillers. Plus, physical therapy boosts your mental health, and it can help you mentally and emotionally feel better after the trauma of a car accident.

Paying for Physical Therapy


While physical therapy can be an integral part of recovering from injuries you sustain during a car accident, it can also be a costly form of treatment.

Most health insurance plans, including Medicare, will pay for medically necessary physical therapy services. Your insurance company or the care provider you work with can let you know what your policy will cover, but you are likely to have out-of-pocket costs.

Your physical therapist could also be out of network, so they aren’t a participating provider with your insurer. Then, your insurance company will probably pay for less of your treatment, and you’d be responsible for paying the difference. The physical therapist should be able to give you an idea ahead of time of how much your out-of-pocket costs are going to be. If you don’t have insurance, you might be able to self-pay directly.

What About the Person Responsible for Your Injuries?


When you’re injured in a car accident, you’re going to be left with a  lot of expenses, and PT is just one of those. Bills add up quickly and depending on the state where you live, the person who caused your accident may be responsible for your physical therapy expenses.

There are rules of negligence in states that set the legal liability for expenses after a car accident, including physical therapy. If a driver is careless or negligent, the law often says they have to pay for the damages their actions or inactions caused.

In a lot of states, even if you contributed to the accident in some way or another, you might still be able to recover compensation for your damages.

Most drivers have insurance to cover their liability if they’re in an accident. You should be able to submit your claim to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. You make a claim for all your expenses, including your physical therapy.

If the other driver’s policy isn’t adequate to cover your losses, you might have other options available to you.

Your own insurance company could also cover your physical therapy if you have underinsured or uninsured coverage. The insurance carrier of an at-fault driver may not pay any medical expenses without a complete release of the driver who’s at fault, and this can take months or more. Sometimes what happens is that you work to negotiate a settlement with an insurance provider, and then when you receive that settlement, you’re reimbursed for what you had to initially pay for your physical therapy. You might also have to reimburse your health insurance company if you reach a settlement for what it paid.

Some providers will work on a medical lien, meaning a physical therapist might provide treatment with the expectation that you’ll receive an insurance settlement, and then you pay them.

It all gets complex, so it’s always a good idea to at least consult with a personal injury attorney when you’re in a car accident.



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