If you’re wondering how you are going to pay for your medical expenses after a car accident or where those funds will come from, you’re not alone. Medical expenses from car accident injuries cost Americans approximately 23 billion dollars each year! On top of the finances involved, dealing with insurance after a crash is a complex and confusing process.
But you don’t have to deal with medical bills all by yourself. There are several ways to cover your medical expenses, and compensation for your medical bills can come from the other driver’s insurance or even from your own policy, depending on the situation you are in.
Which Insurance Coverage Pays for Medical Expenses?
Other than a health plan, what insurance is available to pay for your medical expenses? Generally, the ability to receive compensation for the medical costs resulting from an auto accident depends on the type of coverage that you and the at-fault party have available under your auto insurance policies. In Texas, benefits that provide for payment of medical expenses include the at-fault driver’s liability insurance (also known as third-party bodily injury liability), personal injury protection (PIP), medical payments (MedPay), and underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage (UIM/UM).
Below, we will look at some of these different avenues for getting compensation to help pay your medical bills after a car wreck.
The Other Driver: Third-Party Liability
If the at-fault driver has personal auto insurance, then it covers you in the event you are injured in a car accident (up to a certain amount, which is known as the policy limit). This type of insurance is called bodily injury liability. In Texas, drivers are required to carry liability limits of at least $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident; however, that amount can be increased by the driver purchasing the policy.
Unfortunately, under Texas law, a driver is only required to purchase this basic type of insurance with these minimal amounts of coverage. If the other driver only has this bare minimum — or no insurance at all — you may have a very difficult time getting compensation for all of your medical bills after a crash, especially if they exceed the policy limits.
However, other types of coverage, explained below, are optional and may be part of your or the other driver’s policies. If additional types of coverage are available to you in the wake of a car wreck, you stand a better chance at recovering more of your medical costs.
PIP and MedPay: What Do They Cover and How Are They Different?
Insurance companies are required by Texas law to offer drivers personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payments (MedPay) as part of their policy. If the policyholder declines PIP or MedPay coverage, that rejection must be must be made in writing.
PIP is a benefit under a car insurance policy that covers medical expenses, lost wages, funeral expenses, and other damages without regard to fault. PIP may help you get immediate medical attention that you know will be paid for up to the limits of your PIP coverage (unless you have specifically declined this coverage). Like liability limits, a driver purchasing auto insurance has the option to increase the amount of PIP coverage he or she wants by paying additional premiums.
MedPay is like PIP, but it is limited to paying reasonable and necessary medical expenses and funeral expenses only. Additionally, the MedPay provider may ask you to return a portion of the expenses paid on your behalf in the event that you are able to recover a settlement from the other driver’s bodily injury liability.
Filing an Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Claim
Like PIP and MedPay, uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage must also be offered and may also be rejected in writing. However, when available, UIM coverage protects you in the event that another driver injures you but their insurance coverage is not enough to compensate you for your injuries. In that case, you should consider filing a UIM claim against your own insurance policy, which will cover the difference.
UM coverage provides drivers with coverage for injuries if the at-fault driver does not have insurance or the driver is unknown. This kind of coverage helps in cases such as hit and runs or collisions with unlicensed drivers. Again, you should consider filing this claim against your own insurance policy if it makes sense to do so. For more information on UM/UIM claims, you can read more about what to do if you’re hit by an uninsured driver.
Crosley Law Firm: On Your Side After a Car Accident
Auto insurance can be complex and confusing, and it can be difficult to figure out what the other driver’s coverage provides or even what’s in the fine print of the coverage you have available under your own policy. And the last thing you should have to worry about in the days, weeks, and months after you’ve been injured in a car accident are the nitty gritty details of insurance coverage.
If you’re struggling with medical bills and insurance after a crash, one of the best decisions you can make is talking to a qualified and experienced personal injury attorney. At Crosley Law Firm, we offer free consultations so we can get to know more about you and your unique situation. If we think we can help, we will seek out every avenue of insurance coverage available to you. We know the ins and outs of insurance law, and we are here to help you. Plus, you don’t have to pay us a dime unless we achieve a settlement or win your case in the courtroom.
Our dedicated legal team will work to get the medical compensation you deserve, so if you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, please contact us for a free consultation by filling out our convenient online form or calling 210-LAW-3000.
Automobile insurance made easy (2016, June). Texas Department of Insurance. Retrieved from http://www.tdi.texas.gov/pubs/consumer/cb020.html
Blincoe, L. J. Miller, T. R., Zaloshnja, E., & Lawrence, B. A. (2015, May). The economic and societal impact of motor vehicle crashes, 2010. (Revised) (Report No. DOT HS 812 013). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Retrieved from https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812013
Related ArticlesView All Blog Articles
Will a Back Surgery Affect My Car Accident Settlement?Feb 11, 2021
Car accident injuries that require surgery often increase the chances of securing a settlement in a personal injury claim. In particular, back surgeries not only increase the chances of securing a car accident settlement, but also significantly improve the average monetary value of the settlement. To be clear, we’re not advocating for you or our […]
What’s Causing My Hip Pain After a Car AccidentFeb 11, 2021
Injuries sustained to your hip in a car accident can be debilitating. Even if you feel fine after a crash, it’s important not to ignore minor aches and pains that may arise hours, days or even weeks later because they potentially could have a severe impact on both your overall long-term health and a personal […]
How Do I Get a Texas Accident Report?Feb 11, 2021
There are a lot of things that you need to do after your car accident. In addition to getting immediate medical attention, you also need to call the police and file a report. A Texas peace officer crash report will be filled out by the responding officer, and it’s important to get a copy of […]
What Does an Insurance Adjuster Do?Feb 11, 2021
If you’ve been in a car accident, you know how overwhelming and traumatic the process can be. Recovering from your injuries and dealing with lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages is a lot to deal with. Making sure that you do everything right to file a successful claim can seem impossible. […]
Who Sideswiped Who? Here’s How to Find Out and What to DoFeb 11, 2021
If you’ve been driving for any length of time, chances are that you’ve seen another driver drift out of their lane. Sometimes they’re able to course-correct, but when the side of their vehicle makes contact with the side of another car, that’s called a sideswipe crash. When a sideswipe crash (also called a “blind spot […]
Everything You Need to Know About Texas Car Accident SettlementsFeb 02, 2021
You might hear a lot about car accident and personal injury settlement amounts, but do you really understand the essentials of a settlement? At Crosley Law, we know that settling your case is an important decision that you should never take lightly. However, if you don’t understand the settlement process or the value of your […]
Leg Pain After a Car Accident: 6 Possible CausesDec 30, 2020
Leg pain is very common after a car accident, but it can have many causes. Unfortunately, many crash survivors assume that their pain is “just bumps and bruises” and that it will go away on its own. However, that dull or shooting pain may be a sign of a severe injury, like a herniated disc […]
Can I Get Punitive Damages After a Car Accident in Texas?Dec 15, 2020
Maybe you’ve heard of “punitive damages” as something that might be awarded by a court. However, these monetary damages can seem like a myth — they’re fairly rare, and not many people who aren’t lawyers understand when and how courts award them. This blog article will explain what punitive damages are and outline when and […]
Delayed Neck Pain After a Car Accident: What It MeansDec 09, 2020
At first, you didn’t think the car wreck was that bad. The driver behind you was texting and driving, and because they weren’t paying attention, they rammed their vehicle into the back of your car. Your head snapped back and forth upon impact, but other than that seemingly minor injury, you walked away from the […]
How to Talk to a Telehealth Doctor About Your Car Accident InjuriesNov 25, 2020
As Texas grapples with COVID-19, many of us are wondering whether we should go to the doctor. Whether you’re worried about exposure to the coronavirus or using up valuable medical resources, we understand your concern. However, if you have injuries from a car accident, you must get the medical care you desperately need. People are […]
Do you or a family member
need legal advice?
Crosley Law Firm, PC is a professional corporation of trial lawyers focused on representing individuals and families who have suffered serious personal injuries or wrongful death. If you’ve been injured, fill out the form for a free consultation, or call 210-LAW-3000.