Serious car accidents take their toll on your health and your wallet. Under the best circumstances, you could possibly face weeks or months of rehabilitation after receiving medical care. You could wind up owing $50,000 or more when the dust settles. Additionally, your medical bills could continue if you suffer a more serious injury and need expensive prescriptions, ongoing treatments, long-term therapy or nursing care. Most health insurance plans have deductibles that you must pay, but expert Houston auto accidents lawyers know what to do to recover your out-of-pocket expenses and make you whole again.
It is likely that you billed your health insurance provider to pay the medical expenses. However, your auto insurance coverage is responsible for paying the bills through the personal injury provision of your policy. This provision is meant to protect people who are involved in an accident and do not have health insurance to cover their bills. If the accident was your fault, then your insurance company will cover the medical bills. If another driver caused the accident, a Houston auto accident personal injury attorney can see to it that your bills are covered by the other driver’s policy.
In most cases, a hospital will not bill an auto insurance company for their services. The insurance company would probably not pay if they were billed. It usually requires a Houston accident injury attorney to take them to court to force them to cover your expenses. The crash site, circumstances and degree of your injuries will all play a part in the final judgment against the auto insurance company of the driver who is proven to be liable.
Because of this, your immediate auto accident medical bills will be covered by your health insurance provider. Once you have been discharged from the hospital, you will have to deal with your auto insurance provider to get them to repay your health insurance provider in a timely manner. Your health insurance company will probably exert a little pressure of their own as well.
If your lawyer takes the case to court, your health insurance provider will keep an eye on the proceedings. It is likely that it will place a lien on any settlement you would receive. The health insurance company becomes a secured creditor in that case. After the auto insurance company is forced to pay for your expenses, the health insurance company will collect what they are owed. This is called subrogation.
However, in some states, your auto insurer must pay your medical bills regardless of who caused the accident. Some states have a limit on how much the auto insurance provider must pay. Beyond that amount, you pay for the medical care. Usually, that amount is $10,000 or less, but it varies from state to state.
Once the medical care bills exceed your state’s limit, then your health insurance must cover the balance. If you are on Medicare or Medicaid, your bills will be paid through whichever provider you have. If you do not have health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid, you have to arrange payments to the health care providers.
In the unlikely event that you do not have auto insurance or health insurance, you will ultimately be held responsible for your medical bills. If Medicare or Medicaid paid for your medical bills, they are entitled to repayment of their expenses.
In some situations, you might not be able to repay the medical providers because the accident was your fault. In that bleak situation, it would probably be in your best interest to ask friends or family members to help. Another way to get the debt discharged is through bankruptcy.