The Truth About Car Insurance and Medical Bills in Texas
Texas is an at-fault state. How your medical bills are paid after a car accident depends on several factors. Who was at fault, the type of car insurance each driver carries, and health insurance can all affect how your medical bills will be paid.
Texas is an at-fault state, which means the at-fault driver is required to pay for any medical bills and property damage caused by the accident. However, your medical bills will not be paid as you go. Here are a few helpful tips to understand what will happen:
- Before the at-fault driver’s insurance is required to pay, you must first prove that the driver was at-fault. This is a timely process that involves an insurance claim, investigations, and negotiations with the insurance company. This can take up to a year or more.
- The insurance company will likely make you an offer right away. Don’t take it! These offers are almost always low and rarely fair.
- It’s best to wait until after your medical treatment is complete (or close to) before finalizing your claim. This way, you know exactly how much the insurance company really owes you.
- Once you accept a check from the insurance company, that’s it. You can’t make another claim or ask for more money, so discuss it with an attorney before accepting a final settlement.
In the meantime, you will be responsible for your own medical expenses.
Trouble Paying Your Medical Bills?
Ambulance rides to the emergency room, x-rays, scans, bloodwork, doctors, and specialists can all add up quickly. But you should never skip medical treatment for fear of having to pay the bills. You do have some options while you’re waiting for your settlement from the insurance company.
First, all Texas drivers are required to carry liability insurance. However, your insurance company probably also offered you ‘personal injury protection’ when you first enrolled. If you opted for this added protection, it will help pay your medical bills while you wait to be reimbursed by the other drivers’ insurance company.
Additionally, your health insurance, either private or through your employer, it should cover some of your medical expenses.
Setting up financing with your medical providers may also be an option. With an attorney’s help, you can negotiate a financial plan with your providers. In fact, many healthcare providers understand the insurance claims process well and regularly work with accident victims by setting up payment plans or agreeing to a ‘hold’.
A hold agreement means that the medical provider will continue to treat you with the guarantee that they’ll be reimbursed in whole once you receive your settlement.
When you reach a settlement with the at-fault drivers’ insurance, you’ll receive a check made payable to you. You’ll then be responsible for paying any outstanding medical bills or paying off providers that agreed to a financial plan or hold.
Either way, it’s important to understand that you do have payment options, but they can be difficult to negotiate without the help of an attorney. When an attorney is involved, medical providers feel confident that a fair settlement will be reached, and they’ll be fully reimbursed in the end.
Strengthening Your Claim
Here are a few tips for strengthening your claim so you can reach a better settlement amount:
- Report the accident to police within 24-hours
- Seek immediate medical attention
- Document your injuries well
- Attend all medical appointments and follow your doctors’ advice
- Do NOT accept the first offer from the insurance company
- Speak to a personal injury attorney right away
Don’t wait until the last minute to ensure that your injury claims are heard. Our lawyers are strongly equipped to handle hit-and-run injuries in the state of Texas. Time is of the essence, so contact us at the Felix Gonzalez Law Firm for a free consultation today!