How will I pay for my Medical Bills after a car accident?
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, or a family member has been injured, you’re probably worried about how you’re going to pay all of those medical bills. Just who is responsible for your medical bills after a car accident in Texas? That answer depends on the exact circumstances of your accident. It depends on who or what caused the accident, if you were partially at fault, and if the other driver is insured.
Dealing with insurance companies and potentially filing a lawsuit calls for consultation with a Dallas car accident lawyer to help you navigate the system.
Comparative Fault or Proportionate Responsibility Explained
Texas is a “fault” state, in that you can collect damages or sue for damages from the at-fault driver or their insurance company. This is only the case if you are not more than 50% responsible for causing the accident. The state Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Chapter 33 lays out the details of proportionate responsibility.
Any damages you are awarded will be reduced by the percentage of fault you had in the accident. If the other driver was found to be 100% at fault, you keep 100% of the damages. But say, for instance, the police or the courts determined you be 25% at fault, and the amount of damages you were eligible to collect was $10,000. You would only receive $7500 because the damages would have been reduced by 25%, or $2500.
If you were in a single-car accident, you are more than likely responsible for your own medical bills, unless your lawyer can prove someone else, or something else, was at fault, such as an auto defect or debris in the roadway from a construction site.
If the Other Driver is Insured
If the other driver is insured, and you are less than 50% at fault as described above, the other driver’s insurance is responsible for your medical bills after a car accident in Texas. But many insurance companies will try and pay out the smallest amount possible. This is why it’s important to have an experienced Dallas car accident lawyer working with you. Whatever you do, don’t sign away your rights for future compensation or agree to a settlement without speaking to a lawyer. You will have to speak to your own insurance adjuster after you are injured in a car accident, but you are not required to speak to the other driver’s insurance company.
If the Other Driver Was On the Job When the Accident Happened
With the proliferation of ridesharing, the chances of being hit by an Uber or Lyft driver are increasing. These cases can be especially complicated, so you may want to contact an Uber and Lyft accident lawyer. Our law firm also has bus accident lawyers and truck accident lawyers who have experience handling cases that involve a city bus or other transit bus or tractor-trailer. In many cases, we can go after both the driver’s insurance company and the employer’s insurance company to make sure your medical bills and future medical needs are covered.
Related: Is Texas a No-Fault State for Auto Accidents?
If the Other Driver is Not Insured
If the other driver is not insured or does not have enough auto insurance to cover your medical bills, your own auto insurance policy may kick in if you purchased Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist coverage. UM/UIM insurance covers your medical bills and other medically related issues. It can also cover property damage, based on the specifics of your policy.
Related: What If The Other Driver In A Texas Car Accident Is Uninsured?
Types of Damages You Can Seek
If you’ve been injured, right now you’re more worried about paying the medical bills, but be aware that you can seek compensation for property damage to your own vehicle and other property that may have been damaged in the accident, as well as compensation for lost wages. But as far as medical expenses, you can seek compensation for:
The cost of transport by ambulance
In some cases, mental health treatment, if you are suffering from something like anxiety or PTSD directly related to the accident
Medications you are taking due to the accident
Future medical expenses including surgery and continued therapy
Each individual case is different, so there may be more medical costs associated with your accident. It’s important that you keep all bills and receipts related to your injuries.
Related: Can You Recover Money For Lost Income In Texas If Unable To Work After a Car Accident?
Talk to Experienced Dallas Car Accident Lawyers for Free
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident that was not your fault, you would be well advised to meet with a Dallas car accident lawyer to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Speaking to one of our experienced lawyers is free and could help you reach a more than fair insurance settlement. We can meet with you in our office, your home, your hospital room, or anywhere else that is convenient for you. Our lawyers are caring and compassionate, and we know how to deal with insurance companies.
Call our firm today at (972) 793-8500 or use our contact form and someone from our team will get back to you quickly.
HAVE MORE QUESTIONS?
AUTO ACCIDENTS FAQ
Your medical bills are separate from your attorney fees. Although, your attorney fees are based on “No Recovery, No Fee”, your medical bills are your responsibility. If you went to the emergency room after your accident and they issued you a bill; the bill is your responsibility, and we cannot waive it because it is not our bill to waive. However, you permit your personal injury attorney to pay the medical providers back from the settlement or judgment that you receive at the end.
If you are the victim of another person’s negligence or carelessness, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim; for personal injury cases seeking damages for pain and suffering to be successful, there must be three elements present: injury, liability and coverage. Chalaki Law can help you determine whether these three elements are present and whether you should pursue your personal injury claim. Call today.
Understanding Your Insurance Policy Explained
Texas law requires people who drive in Texas to pay for the accidents they cause. Most drivers do this by buying auto liability insurance. Liability insurance pays to repair or replace the other driver’s car and pays for the other person’s damages when you are at fault in an accident. The law currently requires minimum liability coverage of $30,000 per injured person, $60,000 for everyone injured in an accident, and $25,000 for property damage (30/60/25).
The declaration page on your auto insurance policy indicates the details of your coverage. Coverage is the amount of money the insurance company will pay in case of an incident. The amount of coverage you want to purchase is different if you use your vehicle for personal use rather than commercial use. The language in your auto insurance policy may limit who can drive your vehicle. Also, it may limit the use of the vehicle for certain a purpose. In some cases, the insurance companies expressly exclude high risk drivers from the policy to write a cheaper policy. For example, if you are an Uber driver some of the insurance companies now require that you purchase a commercial auto insurance policy.
Your auto insurance policy language may limit who can drive your vehicle besides you. They may require additional information as to the people who are going to be permitted to drive your vehicle. In case of an incident the auto insurance company may deny you coverage because the individual was excluded on your policy. Some insurance companies specifically require you to provide your spouse’s information in order to issue you a auto insurance policy.
- You want to make sure the person driving your vehicle has a valid state license.
- You want to make sure you are buying a Standard Texas policy and not non-standard auto insurance policy sold by companies like ACCC, Baja, Elephant, Fred Loya, and other smaller companies.
- You may be individually held responsible for the person driving your vehicle. Always make sure they are not driving under influence of alcohol or durgs. Click Here to learn more about Negligence Entrustment.
Working with a car accident lawyer can help you receive reasonable compensation that may exceed the amount that the insurance company would offer you on your own. An automobile injury attorney will help you present every detail about your case to the insurance company or a judge. He or she might bring up information that you would have missed if you did the negotiations yourself.
Reimbursement for your car repairs and medical bills will almost always be determined by the amount that you paid. The lawyer will help you negotiate an adequate settlement for pain and suffering.
It’s the insurance company’s job to offer you the lowest acceptable amount for a settlement. That’s how the organization makes the most of their own income and profits. An insurance adjuster may try to prove that you underwent unnecessary treatment. They may attempt to say that you were able to go to work.
A lawyer will help you take the measures that are necessary to protect yourself if you’ve been injured in an auto wreck. You’ll need to document everything related to the accident. When a doctor can vouch for missed work days and the treatment that you have received, you should be able to recover the money that you’ve lost.
If you want to maximize your settlement, you’ll need to do more than submit a claim through an insurance company. An attorney will help persuade the insurance company that they should look into the matter further. A lengthy investigation may be initiated, and the personal injury lawyer will negotiate the settlement with the insurance company.
You don’t always have to file a lawsuit to get a settlement payout for whiplash or another auto injury. The insurance company and your attorney may reach a suitable agreement. If they don’t, you may need to take the matter to court. A car wreck attorney can answer your questions about suing after a car accident.
- After a car accident, make sure that you seek medical treatment. Get checked out by a doctor even if you think your injuries are minor — they could be more extensive than you realize.
- Gather documentation from the doctor, as well as from the accident. If you filed a police report, get a copy. Create a file or notebook where you can keep a record of everything.
- Before long, a representative from an insurance company will contact you asking for a statement or pressure you to sign something. Before you provide a statement or sign anything, speak with a personal injury lawyer.
- Once you bring Chalaki Law Firm, into the picture, our car accident attorneys will work with you to gather additional evidence. We’ll look at what you’ve gathered, and access your medical records. We may visit the accident scene and track down witnesses, as well. In cases of severe injuries or particularly catastrophic accidents, we might even consult with an accident reconstructionist.
- Based on our research, we will provide an honest assessment of whether or not you have a claim, what your case is worth, and how to proceed.
- The next step in the process is actually filing the lawsuit. While you may be hesitant to sue the driver who is responsible, it is important to take this step to send a message to the other party’s insurance company. It will also preserve your rights if a resolution is not reached before the statute of limitation expires.
- After filing a complaint or petition with the court, the court will issue a summons that identifies when the defendant has to respond. As the case moves forward, both sides will conduct discovery — interviewing witnesses, requesting documents, answering interrogatories.
- As part of pre-trial hearings and negotiations, we may reach an agreement to settle the case. If that is in your best interest, then we can resolve the matter through settlement. But, if the case does not settle, then we will take the case to trial.
A variety of factors go into deciding the average settlement for a car accident. A judge will take into account the type of injury, treatment plan, length of therapy, loss of income and severity of the wreck. In most cases, a settlement is only offered when the medical treatment has been completed. Permanent injuries will influence the amount of compensation that you receive.
If you’re working with an insurance company after a car wreck, let them know if you’re still going through medical treatment so that you don’t settle for less than you deserve.
Chalaki Law Firm helps people with personal injury claims throughout Texas. Read our Car Accident Help Guide and learn what the next steps are in bringing your personal injury claim, make the right decision and talk to a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer by calling 972-330-4889 or contact Chalaki Law.
The following Car Accident Help Guide will help provide insight into how the personal injury claim process works:
What to do after a car accident?
- Contact the police – Immediately following an accident call the police to file an accident report. You may think that you can resolve it yourself, but the damages to yourself and your car may be more serious than it seems. It is important to have an official record of the accident.
- Do not move your car until the police tell you to – Unless the accident is blocking traffic and must be moved, wait until the police arrive on the scene. If you do have to move your car, take pictures before you do — leaving a disposable camera in your car is a great way to be prepared should an accident occur. A cell phone camera will also work.
- Get the names of any witnesses – You never know if the accident may lead to legal action, so it is important to document everything you can. Get the names, addresses and phone numbers of any potential witnesses before they leave the scene.
- Collect insurance information – Write down the other party’s insurance information, including the insurance company’s name and policy number. Be sure to take down the other driver’s name. Note where the accident took place. And, take pictures of both vehicles.
- Do not admit responsibility – Only discuss the accident with the police, and even then, never admit fault —even if you think you were to blame, because you could be wrong. Admitting fault will be used against you by the insurance company.
- Seek medical attention – While you may think that you are not hurt, some injuries are not always immediately noticeable. Keep a record of everything the doctor tells you — your diagnosis, prescribed treatment and any concerns the doctor may have. Be sure to get copies of any papers the doctor has.
- Follow through with what your doctor says – If your doctor prescribes medication, take it. If he or she recommends physical therapy, make an appointment — and keep it. Do everything your doctor tells you and be sure to follow up with him or her.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, your insurance or the other driver’s coverage might be responsible for compensating you for injury and damages. If you have collision coverage on your own vehicle and the crash was your fault, the insurance company will pay a certain amount to fix your car. If the cost to repair the damages is more than the value of your vehicle, the insurance company may consider your car totaled and give you a lump sum based on how much it’s worth.
When the wreck was caused by another driver’s negligence, his or her insurance company should compensate you for any losses, damages, pain and suffering. The sum that the company offers may be much lower than you expect.
It’s easy to get reimbursed for funds that you’ve paid out. It’s challenging to put a fair price on pain and suffering.
Furthermore, under a contingency contract, the personal injury attorney can choose to pay for your case expenses as well. Once we recover a settlement, we will refund those expenses back to the law firm from the settlement. Personal Injury cases are costly. Some of the costs involved in personal injury law include the money that the attorney has to spend to obtain the information needed to handle your case correctly. For example, the police department charges a fee to produce a copy of the police report, video of the collision, and the police call log. The medical providers charge per page to generate your medical records. The court charges a fee to file a lawsuit. There are additional expenses included but not limited to deposition fees, investigation fees, mediation fees, etc.
The best part about hiring Chalaki Law, P.C. is that we process most of these requests digitally to save you as much money as possible. For instance, we request most of your medical records and bills in a digital format and pay a flat fee instead of per page charge. The practice makes us our evidence gathering and analysis processes faster – which translates to savings for you.
If you get hurt in an accident, you may wonder who is going to pay for your medical treatment. An injury settlement or a verdict at trial is great, but that doesn’t help you pay your medical bills now. This article will discuss how your medical bills get paid on an ongoing basis. The simple answer is that it depends on the type of accident that you have, the state that you live in, and the type of insurance that is involved. Read on for the details.
(For information on the compensation you’re entitled to in a personal injury claim following your accident — including money for medical bills — see Damages in an Accident Injury Claim).
General Rule – The Defendant Does Not Have to Pay Your Medical Bills on an Ongoing Basis
The most important thing to know is that, if you get into an accident, you are generally responsible for the payment of your medical bills as you incur them. The only exception is car accidents in “no fault” states, discussed below. Even if the person who injured you is clearly at fault, the law does not require him or her to pay your medical bills on an ongoing basis. The only thing the law requires is that, if the other person is at fault, he or she must pay you damages to resolve your lawsuit — and in many cases, your medical bills are a part of those damages. But the defendant does not have to pay your medical bills as they come in.
Motor Vehicle Accidents – “No Fault” States
In a motor vehicle accident case, coverage of your medical bills depends on whether the accident happened in a “no fault” state or not. No fault insurance means that your automobile insurer will pay some or all of your medical bills if you get into a car accident, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. In some “no fault” states, there is a limit to what your own automobile insurance company will pay. The limit differs from state to state, but is generally $10,000 or less.
After your medical bills exceed the state’s “no fault” limit, you are responsible for paying them. If you have health insurance, your health insurer will pay your medical bills. If you are on Medicare or a state run health insurance program through Medicaid, those entities will pay the bills. If you do not have health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid, then you are responsible for working out payment arrangements with your health care providers.
Motor Vehicle Accidents – Non “No Fault” States
If you get into a car accident in a state that does not have no fault insurance, you will generally be responsible for paying your medical bills. However, some drivers in these states have medical payment insurance coverage (known as “med pay” coverage). “Med pay” coverage will pay the medical bills of drivers or passengers involved in a car accident with the insured, up to the insured’s “med pay” policy limits, which are generally less than $10,000. After your bills exceed the “med pay” policy limits, you will be responsible for paying them. “Med pay” coverage is not always required, so, if neither you, nor the person at fault, have “med pay” coverage, you are responsible for paying the bills.
Premises Liability (Slip or Trip and Fall Accidents)
In a premises liability or slip and fall case, the injured person will generally be responsible for payment of his or her medical bills, unless the premises owner’s property insurance policy has “med pay” coverage. If the premises owner has “med pay” insurance coverage, then his or her insurance company will pay the injured person’s medical bills up to the “med pay” policy limits. After that, the injured person is responsible for paying the bills.
Boating insurance policies rarely have “med pay” insurance coverage, so, if you get hurt in a boating accident, you will most likely be responsible for paying your medical bills.
If you get hurt in a work-related accident, your workers’ compensation insurer will pay all of your medical bills. In a work-related accident, you are not required to pay any money toward your medical bills. You do not have to pay any medical bills or deductibles. Further, many states require the workers’ compensation insurer to reimburse you for transportation expenses (mileage, tolls, and parking) for all of your travel to and from your medical appointments.
The Insurer That Pays Your Medical Bills Is Entitled To Reimbursement
If a health insurer, Medicare, or the state agency administering Medicaid benefits pays your medical bills related to your accident, they are entitled to be reimbursed for what they paid your health care providers.
If you’re injured in an accident, insurance coverage is not available, and it turns out that you don’t have a personal injury case — because it was your own fault, there is insufficient evidence, or another reason — then you’ll be on the hook for all your medical expenses. In this case, you have limited options, and you’ll probably have to cover the costs of medical treatment yourself. If you can’t afford the bills, you’ll need to turn to family and friends, or consider getting the debt discharged through bankruptcy.
Yes, we will handle your property damage claim at no charge unless the responsible party does not accept liability. When the at-fault party does not take responsibility, we have to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. After that, we claim your property damage, bodily injuries, lost wages and all other damages together. We provide this representation under the same Contingency Fee Agreement (“No Attorney Fees if No Recovery”).