Serious Injuries – Call the Personal Injury Lawyers
As personal injury attorneys who handle many cases involving very serious injuries, we are frequently asked questions by clients and family members about matters commonly of concern to them. In order to provide our readers with some general guidance about serious injury cases inTexas, we have decided to do a series of blogs on frequently asked questions in the context of such cases. This entry shall address the first of many of such questions, with future blogs on other FAQs to follow.
1. Who pays for my medical bills while I am recovering from my injuries?
Answer: You do. In Texas, we do not have a “Pay As You Go” rule. In a hypothetical automobile accident where it is admitted that the other driver is at fault, there is still no duty of that driver or his insurance company to pay medical expenses for the injured victim as they are being incurred. Instead, the injured individual is required to use his or her own resources to pay for medical expenses as they are being incurred. If the expenses incurred exceed available insurance coverage, the insurance carrier for the at fault driver may decide to tender available coverage without further delay, but there is no legal requirement that they do so. However, if the medical expenses being incurred do not exceed available coverage, typically, such bills will not be paid until all medical reports are made available for review to make sure that the incurred medical expenses are related to the injuries caused in the hypothetical collision. Thus, in Texas, as in many other states, it is imperative that the public protect itself through health insurance where it is possible to do so for budgetary and other reasons. If someone does not have health insurance, it then becomes difficult to obtain necessary medical treatment after one has been injured. Nonetheless, the at fault driver and its insurance carrier do not have to pay for necessary medical treatment after an accident, rather, the injured individual must pay for his or her own treatment and then seek reimbursement from the at fault driver and insurance carrier for those expenses later.
Another way that the public can protect itself is to purchase as part of their own automobile insurance policies what is known as Medical Payments coverage. Medical Payments coverage is paid regardless of fault if such medical expenses are incurred as a result of an automobile accident. Even without health insurance coverage, the public can protect itself by purchasing Medical Payments coverage as a part of their own automobile liability insurance policy. While all drivers are required to purchase minimal amounts of liability insurance coverage to protect other drivers, the public may protect itself through Medical Payments coverage which can pay medical expenses up to the limits of such coverage regardless of fault provided the expenses are proven to have arisen out of an automobile accident. This coverage can be important in serious injury cases because if the injured individual does not have other available health insurance then the medical payments coverage can pay medical expenses as they are being incurred, regardless of fault.