After a car accident, you may file a claim against your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy to pay for the costs of treating your injuries. All auto insurance policies in Texas include PIP coverage unless you specifically decline it. But the insurance company will only pay up to the dollar limit of the PIP policy. If your trauma injuries are serious, your medical bills may exceed the settlement provided by your PIP policy.
What happens if you still have medical bills to pay? You might be worried that there is nothing else to do except pay those bills out of pocket. You may have other options. An experienced San Antonio accident attorney can help you explore your legal rights for holding the at-fault driver financially accountable.
The Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover is here to fight for full and fair compensation for you after a serious accident in San Antonio. With more than 30 years of legal experience, we have the knowledge and skill to handle every aspect of your crash lawsuit on your behalf. Contact us today at (210) 226-2000 or fill out our online form for a free consultation.
Understanding Your Rights When Medical Bills Exceed Your Car Accident Settlement in Texas
If you were injured in an accident, your healthcare providers – emergency room physicians and staff, as well as any doctors or healthcare professionals you – will provide medical services and then submit the bills to your insurance provider.
If you have health insurance, your health insurance may pay your medical costs after an accident and then place a medical lien against any settlement you receive. If you receive an accident settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance, the medical lien must be paid from the settlement.
If your insurance does not pay the bills, you may have significant medical debt. The hospital may begin collection efforts. The last thing you need is to be hounded by debt collectors while you are trying to recover from serious injuries. You need an experienced personal injury attorney to deal with the health care providers and insurers on your behalf.
Negotiating with Healthcare Providers to Lower Your Medical Bills
If another driver was at fault and your injuries are significant, you may have a right to file a third-party insurance claim against the at-fault driver insurance for coverage of your medical expenses and accident-related losses.
As your attorney, we can inform the health care provider that legal action is pending and request that the health care provider pause any collection efforts until your third-party insurance claim is resolved.
The reality is that the medical providers are billing you for what they’d like you to pay, not necessarily what it costs them to treat you. Medical providers are often willing to write off certain expenses and accept a reduced amount as payment in full.
An experienced accident attorney can negotiate with the healthcare provider as part of the settlement process.
How Texas Law Handles Medical Liens and Subrogation in Car Accident Cases
The resolution of a serious accident may involve medical liens or subrogation of a claim.
- Medical liens – Hospitals or doctors may place a medical lien against your settlement award to make sure they are paid back, before you receive any of the award funds.
- Subrogation – If your health insurance company has paid the hospital and doctors for the cost of your medical care for an accident caused by another driver, your insurer may seek repayment if you collect a settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance. This legal process is called subrogation.
You will want your Texas accident attorney to handle any issues involving medical liens and subrogation on your behalf to ensure that the correct amount of money comes out of your settlement.
When Your Settlement Isn’t Enough – Legal Options for Recovering Additional Compensation
Talk to a qualified personal injury attorney before accepting any insurance settlement or signing any release presented by the insurance company. A quick settlement offer from an insurance company may not be enough to cover all your losses.
You may be able to seek additional compensation under some specific circumstances. If the at-fault driver did not have enough auto liability insurance to make a settlement covering all your losses, you may file a claim against your own Underinsured Motorist insurance (UIM) coverage. UIM coverage pays when your medical expenses exceed the limits of the at-fault driver insurance. If more than one party was responsible for the accident, you have a right to seek compensation from all those who were at fault.
An experienced accident lawyer can review your situation and determine the options available to you. A good attorney will look out for your best interests and use their experience and insight to pursue the full compensation available to you.
Get Legal Help from Our Experienced San Antonio Accident Attorneys
The losses caused by a serious accident can be considerable. If you were injured in an accident in San Antonio or South Texas, don’t try to pursue compensation on your own. You could wind up with far less than you deserve. Turn to attorney Troy Brookover, who can take the following steps to help you:
- Negotiate with the insurance representatives who are trying to get you to accept an unreasonably low settlement offer
- Gather evidence to support your claim and determine if you have additional sources for compensation
- Negotiate with your healthcare providers to reduce your medical bills
- Guide you through the insurance claims process
- Represent you in court if the insurer refuses to agree to a fair settlement
Troy Brookover has more than 30 years of legal experience. He began his career by defending insurance companies, so he knows the tactics used by insurance adjusters and insurance company lawyers. Since becoming a personal injury lawyer, he has represented thousands of injured people and obtained many six- and seven-figure awards on their behalf – compensation they needed for medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. Browse some of our case results here.
He is among a small percentage of attorneys in the state who are Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Contact Troy Brookover today to speak with an experienced San Antonio car accident attorney. Our law firm provides free consultations so that accident victims can discuss their legal options.