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Personal Injury

Updated:

February 17, 2022

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How Do I Pay My Medical Bills After a Car Accident?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiL2ncLjaGo

A personal injury car accident in Dallas, TX or Fort Worth can generate huge medical bills. These bills might exceed your medical coverage. Indeed, paying medical bills for a car accident can present you with a tremendous challenge under the worst possible circumstances — when you are seriously injured and still in shock. If the accident was the fault of some other party, how do you arrange for car accident medical expense coverage?

Can You Get Medical Treatment Immediately After an Accident in Dallas?

Yes. It is important to get a medical check up following a motor vehicle accident to ensure that you were not seriously injured. Also, delaying medical treatment after a car accident can hurt your chances to obtain compensation for your medical expenses and pain and suffering claim. 

If you feel that you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, seek medical treatment as soon as you can. Delaying going to a doctor will give the insurance company an excuse to avoid paying your claim. The insurance company might claim that your injuries were caused by something that happened after the accident.

There are two main ways that you can take care of high medical bills immediately after an accident.  First, rely on your health insurance. Another way is to have your lawyer talk to your health care provider about alternative payment arrangements. 

Who Pays Medical Bills After a Texas Car Accident?

How are medical bills paid after a car accident in Texas? Texas is a “fault” auto insurance state. That means that if you suffer car accident medical bills in an accident caused by someone else, you can immediately file a third-party claim against the at-fault party’s auto accident liability insurance policy, or simply sue them. You don’t have to seek compensation from your own insurance policy, as you would in a “no-fault” state. 

Two more complications might arise: 

  • Comparative fault. If you were partly at fault for the accident, the other driver wouldn’t have to pay for the percentage of your medical bills that represents your own percentage of fault for the accident. If you were more than 50% at fault for the accident, your compensation would be zero. 
  • Insurance coverage limits. Texas only requires its drivers to carry bodily injury liability insurance with limits of $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident. Of course, the at-fault driver might carry more than the minimum coverage.

In some cases, you might be able to collect damages from the defendant’s personal assets.

Types of Damages and Medical Expenses After a Car Accident

Medical bills from an auto accident come in many different varieties, including:

  • Ambulance transportation;
  • Doctor’s office visits;
  • Outpatient procedures;
  • Emergency room bills;
  • Hospital bills;
  • Surgery bills;
  • Lab testing fees;
  • Pain management;
  • Medical equipment;
  • Physical therapy and rehab expenses; and
  • Prescriptions and pharmaceutical expenses.

You might also receive separate medical bills from different doctors. You may also have to estimate future medical expenses, which could be the most costly component of all your medical expenses. If you suffered a serious long-term injury, you must not underestimate your future medical expenses. Once you settle them, you won’t be able to come back and ask for more money later. 

These bills don’t even include other components of damages, such as pain and suffering or occupational disability.

Financial Options for Medical Bills After a Car Accident

The root of the problem here is easy to state – you need medical care now, but you might have to wait until later to receive the money you need to pay your car accident medical bills. Following are some of the ways that you can resolve this dilemma:

Health Insurance

Most people carry some form of health insurance. You might carry private health insurance, or you might be eligible for Medicare or Medicaid. Your insurance should pay for some or even most of your medical bills subject to any deductible and exclusions that might apply. If the other party was at fault, your insurance company could seek reimbursement from the other party's insurance company.

Auto Insurance

Texas only requires you to purchase auto accident liability insurance. You will also receive PIP insurance, which covers medical expenses for you and your passengers plus certain non-medical expenses unless you specifically notify the insurance company in writing that you don't want it. 

Texas insurance companies offer other options that you should consider. The extra expense will be well worth it when you receive an auto accident settlement for medical bills and other auto accident damages such as lost wages.

Hardship Arrangements

If paying your medical bills causes you significant financial hardship, your hospital or other health care provider might offer you special hardship arrangements to reduce the amount you owe. Hardship arrangements might depend on how much money you make, or they might depend on other factors. Look into hardship arrangements if you run out of other options.

Personal Payment Arrangements

Some healthcare providers will allow you to set up payment plans to pay your medical bills out of your personal assets. Some might even accept medical credit cards.

Other Parties 

If another party caused the accident, you can file a lawsuit against that party or seek an out-of-court settlement. You might be able to arrange a settlement with that party’s car accident medical expense insurance provider. If the other party was uninsured or underinsured, you might be able to seek compensation from the at-fault party's personal assets. 

You might also be able to find a third party who you can hold liable for the accident (a nightclub that served alcohol to an already-intoxicated defendant prior to a DUI accident, for example).

How to Obtain Compensation for Car Accident Medical Bills

The procedure for how to claim medical expenses after a car accident is not as straightforward as it might seem. Before you pay your medical bills from a car accident settlement, hire a personal injury attorney to help you obtain as much compensation as possible from the responsible party (usually an insurance company, but not always). The typical procedure works something like this:

  • Consult with your attorney about your accident;
  • Your attorney may conduct an investigation to gather evidence and to better understand your case;
  • Your attorney may send a demand letter to the responsible party and seek to open settlement negotiations;
  • Your attorney may file a lawsuit, to pressure the responsible party into settlement and to gain access to the court-supervised “discovery” evidence-gathering process; and
  • Your attorney may reach an acceptable settlement or proceed to a trial.

Either way, you only pay your attorney if they win your case. Any personal injury attorney who seeks any other payment terms is not worth your time. 

Conclusion

There are ways to pay even overwhelming medical bills after a car accident. In the long run, a successful personal injury claim will pay all of your medical bills and more. Not only that, but your claim might be worth a lot more than just your medical bills. We’ve been doing this for a long time. If you have suffered an injury in a car accident in Dallas, TX, contact Brooks & Radchenko at (903) 818-8681, or simply contact us online for a free initial consultation. 

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