Accident victims could have crash tax to go with deductible

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 By

Photo of a car that his a house.

"Crash Tax" may become an everyday car insurance term. CC by Blyzz/Flickr

As if dealing with physical repercussions, expensive deductibles and all of the other ramifications of an auto accident weren’t enough, emergency service departments are tacking on another expense. It’s called a crash tax. Motorists involved in a car crash outside their municipalities may be billed by Emergency Medical Services just because EMS showed up at the accident.

Fault doesn’t matter to the ‘crash tax’

The “crash tax” is not complicated. If a person gets in a car crash away from home, and emergency services shows up and checks them out, even if they don’t ask for it, the person gets billed. The bill isn’t gargantuan, but is far from being innocuous. Often, the bill isn’t into the thousands. The norm seems to be a few hundred. There was a recent Chicago Tribune piece about a woman charged $350, and the New York Times had a story of a man charged $200. Neither asked to be checked out by emergency personnel or needed to go to a hospital.

Some bans in place

More states have crash taxes than not. However, the number of states with a ban on the crash tax is growing. Ten states — Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Tennessee — got rid of the practice. It isn’t a state law though. It is almost always a municipal decision. The practice, also called “resource recovery,” is used to get funds back from people that needed emergency services but didn’t pay taxes in that area. There are 24 states that have it. The highest fees in crash tax bills are, of course, in California.

You wish insurance covered this

If a person declines medical assistance, an insurance company will not pay it. Insurance companies oppose it. There are also other groups, including the AARP, which oppose the crash tax.

More information on this topic

NY Times

Chicago Tribune

Sacramento Injury Board

Previous Article

« Adolescent Psychology | Depressed Children?

The pharmaceutical sharks are hoping enough people will believe studies that claim that 15 percent of preschoolers have depression and need meds… Is he a depressed child, or merely a child? (Photo: flickr.com)
Next Article

GOP called out for saying forcible rape differs from other rape »

HR 3, a Republican bill written to make getting abortions harder, included the term "forcible rape." That was removed, but problems remain. forcible rape

Other recent posts by Sam Hoober

Consumers advised to avoid credit card protection plans

Credit card debt protection plans are great for credit card companies but end up being not very beneficial for people who enroll in them.
Credit Card

Plunging interest rates make mortgages low cost loans for now

Those who can qualify for financing could make a killing in the current real estate market. Low interest rates make mortgages low cost loans.
Home

Debt relief companies now subject to tougher regulation

Debt relief is getting a lot of advertising these days. Though tougher regulation is in place, there are still a lot of scams out there...
Jackalope