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It’s no secret that healthcare spending in the Lone Star State is on the rise. In 2020, Texas had some of the highest personal healthcare spending in the United States. In 2021, National Health Expenditure (NHE) hit an astronomical $4.3 trillion, an average of about $12,914 per person.
A car accident could leave you with a hefty medical bill you have no way to pay. It’s a situation nobody wants to find themselves in, especially if another driver caused the accident.
At DFW Injury Lawyers, we understand the stress that comes with a car accident. We provide the legal representation needed for navigating the insurance claims process and pursuing compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
We help accident victims like you fight for the compensation they deserve, so you can focus on what really matters—your recovery. Contact us today to schedule a free legal consultation and learn more about how our attorneys can help you.
How Much Are Medical Bills After Car Accidents?
After a car accident in Texas, the cost of medical bills is a major concern.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the average cost of medical bills for a car accident injury quickly adds up to around $15,000.
In Texas, the total economic costs caused by motor vehicle crashes in 2019 were estimated at a staggering $28,939,000. Costs can include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and other related expenses. Regarding auto insurance claims, the average liability claim for bodily injury in 2018 was $15,785, while property damage claims averaged $3,841, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
Medical bills after car accidents can include:
- Emergency room bills
- Hospital bills
- Surgery costs
- Lab fees
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation expenses
- Prescription medications and pain management treatment
- Future medical costs which can be related to chronic pain/injury or a permanent disability
Common Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents frequently result in a wide range of injuries, each with its own potential costs and long-term consequences. The costs associated with these injuries add up quickly, causing significant financial strain on the victim and their family. Severe car accident injuries are even more costly: A three-day hospital stay can average $30,000.
Common injuries seen in Texas car accidents include:
Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when a blow or jolt to the head causes damage to the brain. TBIs range from mild concussions to severe brain damage.
The costs of treating a TBI are expensive, ranging from $85,000 to $3,000,000. Severe TBIs can require specialized medical care, rehabilitation, and ongoing therapy.
Spinal Cord Injury and Paralysis
Spinal cord injuries may result in partial or complete paralysis and result in extensive medical bills. The cost of treatment for spinal cord injuries may include surgeries, hospital stays, rehabilitation, and long-term care. According to the National Institute of Health, spinal cord injuries may cost as much as $612,590.
Fractures and broken bones are common in car accidents and may require expensive medical intervention. Healthcare.gov states that treatment for a broken leg may cost up to $7,500, including emergency room visits, surgeries, and follow-up care.
Losing a limb in a car accident is a devastating outcome, both physically and emotionally. The cost of prosthetic limbs, surgeries, and rehabilitation for amputations is significant and extends over a lifetime.
Back Pain and Whiplash
Back pain and whiplash are common injuries resulting from the forceful movement of the neck and spine during a car accident. These injuries may require ongoing treatment, including extensive physical therapy, medication, and more.
Internal bleeding is a severe and potentially life-threatening injury that may require emergency medical treatment, surgery, and follow-up care. The costs can be substantial, especially if ongoing treatment and monitoring are necessary.
Sprains, Strains, Bruising, and Soft Tissue Damage
Soft tissue injuries are common in car accidents and cause pain, inflammation, and restricted movement. Treatment for these injuries often involves rest, physical therapy, and medication.
Anxiety and Depression
Motor vehicle accidents also have psychological effects, such as anxiety and depression. These mental health conditions may require therapy or medication, adding additional costs to the victim’s medical expenses.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Car accidents often leave lasting psychological trauma, sometimes resulting in conditions like PTSD. The costs of treating and managing PTSD may include therapy and medication.
Tragically, car accidents often result in fatalities. In addition to the emotional devastation caused by the loss of a loved one, the financial costs associated with a fatal accident can be significant.
How Are Medical Bills Paid After a Car Accident?
Typically, insurance primarily covers medical bills resulting from a car accident in Texas. Medical expenses, especially those involving surgeries and long-term care, may quickly become exorbitant.
In some cases, individuals may feel compelled to dip into their retirement savings, take out home equity loans, seek unsecured loans, or enter into payment plans with the hospital. Others may try medical crowdfunding, although this option is often unsuccessful and unreliable.
The at-fault driver’s auto insurance should cover the medical expenses of the injured party. If you were injured in a Texas car accident, a skilled car accident lawyer can guide you through the often-complex insurance claims process to secure compensation for medical expenses.
Who Pays Medical Bills After a Car Accident?
In general, if another driver caused the accident, their auto insurance should cover your medical expenses.
Navigating the insurance claims process is challenging, so enlist the help of an experienced car accident attorney for help determining who may be liable for your injuries.
In some cases, the victim’s health insurance covers the costs associated with their car accident injuries. If you have health insurance, it may help pay medical bills related to your car accident. Health insurance is particularly helpful with high-cost treatments like emergency room visits and hospital stays.
In situations where another driver is at fault for the accident, their auto insurance should pay the victim’s medical bills. Getting this done can be tricky; your legal team can help get this squared away.
Auto insurance plays a crucial role in covering medical expenses following a car accident in Texas. In most cases, the at-fault driver’s auto insurance covers the injured party’s medical expenses.
A skilled car accident lawyer can help you file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and negotiate for full compensation for your medical bills. An experienced lawyer knows the tactics insurance companies may use to minimize their payout, and fights tirelessly on your behalf.
Texas’s Crime Victims’ Compensation Program
The Texas Crime Victims’ Compensation Program can be a lifeline for car accident victims who lack proper insurance or face coverage gaps. This program offers vital financial support for eligible individuals. Program funding could go to assistance with medical bills, counseling services, funeral expenses, and lost income resulting from crime-related injuries.
While it is primarily designated for victims of intentional crimes, such as assault or robbery, car accident victims may qualify for compensation under this program in some instances, including for hit and runs and DWI crashes. Consult with a car accident lawyer for help determining if you qualify for this program and legal options you may also pursue.
At-Fault Driver’s Car Insurance
After a car accident in Texas, the responsibility for paying your medical bills falls on the at-fault driver’s insurance. Car insurance usually provides liability coverage that pays for the costs of the innocent party impacted by the accident.
A skilled car accident lawyer can help you file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and fight for the full compensation you deserve for your medical bills and other expenses.
Why File a Personal Injury Claim To Cover Medical Bills After a Car Accident
While health insurance and auto insurance may provide some coverage in the event of an accident, a personal injury claim may help cover the full extent of your medical expenses. In addition to medical bills, a personal injury claim also helps cover past and future lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and other damages arising from the accident.
A successful personal injury claim holds the at-fault driver accountable for their actions and seeks compensation for losses sustained because of an accident. Car accident settlements help alleviate the financial stress of mounting medical bills. With the stress removed, accident victims have the space to focus on their recovery.
Navigating the personal injury claims process may seem daunting, but with the help of an experienced car accident lawyer, you can ensure your rights are protected and your claim is handled effectively. A Texas car accident lawyer gathers evidence, negotiates with insurance companies, and advocates for your best interests, maximizing your chances of a successful outcome.
What If You Need to Pay Your Bills Before Receiving Compensation?
If you find yourself in a situation where you need to pay your medical bills before receiving compensation after a car accident, you have a few options.
- Authorization and Assignment: In some cases, healthcare providers may provide medical treatment on a lien basis and wait for payment until your personal injury claim is resolved. This is done through an authorization and assignment form. With this method, your healthcare provider directly bills the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
- Health Insurance: If you have health insurance, it can help cover your medical expenses while you await compensation. Keep in mind that your health insurance provider may require reimbursement if you receive a settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Review your policy and consult with an attorney to understand your rights and obligations.
- Med Pay or PIP Coverage: Some auto insurance policies include Medical Payments (Med Pay) or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. Med Pay coverage is typically optional and provides immediate payment for medical expenses related to a car accident, regardless of who is at fault. PIP coverage is not mandatory in Texas and provides coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and other related expenses.
- Medicare/Medicaid: If you have Medicare or Medicaid, these government programs may help cover your medical expenses. However, these programs may also seek reimbursement from any settlement or judgment you receive. Consult with an attorney for help understanding the potential impact on your personal injury claim.
How Are Car Accident Medical Bills Paid When the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
Unfortunately, an estimated 1 in 8 drivers in the USA does not have car insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute. In Texas, 8.3% of drivers are uninsured. So, what do you do if you’re involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver?
First, check if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage or personal injury protection (PIP) coverage on your own auto insurance policy. These insurance policies help pay for your medical bills and other expenses if the at-fault driver is uninsured.
Texas insurance companies must offer a minimum of $2,500 in PIP coverage, but the policyholder may reject it in writing. Alternatively, you may increase this coverage for added protection.
If you cannot rely on your own insurance coverage, file a complaint with the Texas Department of Public Safety. They have a process in place for handling claims involving uninsured motorists. Follow the stipulated guidelines for timing, location, and documentation.
Lastly, seeking legal assistance is highly recommended. Car accident lawyers can guide you through the complexities of the claims process and explore all possible options for recovering compensation for your medical bills. A qualified personal injury lawyer in Texas can advocate for your rights and work towards recovering the financial assistance you need.
Factors That Affect the Amount of Car Accident Settlements
When determining the amount of a car accident settlement, several factors are considered. Key factors that could affect the amount of a car accident settlement include:
- Insurance Coverage: The insurance coverage of the at-fault driver plays a significant role in determining the amount of your settlement. If the driver has limited insurance coverage or no insurance at all, it can affect the overall recoverable amount.
- Liability: Liability is determined through negligence in Texas. It is a crucial aspect of any potential injury settlement. If the injured party shares partial fault for the accident, their compensation is reduced based on the modified comparative negligence standard.
- Severity of Injuries: The severity of your injuries and their impact on your life could also affect the potential settlement. Serious injuries that result in long-term medical treatment, disabilities, or loss of income may warrant a higher settlement.
- State Laws: State laws also help determine settlement payouts. Each state has different laws regarding damages and compensation. Working with an attorney experienced in Texas laws is key to navigating them effectively.
- Financial Loss: The financial losses suffered as a result of the accident, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage, are considered when calculating your settlement.
At DFW Injury Lawyers, our experienced car accident attorneys help victims navigate the complexities of settlement negotiations and ensure their rights are protected. A local car accident attorney can advocate for your interest and provide the best chance of achieving a favorable outcome.
Should you go to the hospital after a car accident?
After a car accident, prioritize your health and well-being. Hospital visits are necessary for extensive injuries, internal bleeding, and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). In less serious cases, seeking medical attention from a doctor, such as a primary care provider, is usually advisable.
Visiting a doctor can help you identify any underlying injuries or conditions potentially caused by the accident. Medical records are also critical for establishing fault down the line: These records can serve as valuable evidence.
FAQs on Car Accident Claims and Settlements
What can a car accident attorney help me with?
A car accident lawyer in Texas can provide invaluable assistance in navigating the complex legal process after a car accident. Texas car accident lawyers help victims understand their rights and options for recovering compensation, negotiating with insurance companies, gathering evidence supporting the claim, and representing them in court if necessary.
Overall, a car accident attorney ensures your best interests are protected and increases your chances of a successful outcome.
Do I need an attorney to get a car accident settlement?
Technically, you don’t need an attorney to get a car accident settlement. However, to receive the best possible results for your car accident claim, hiring a skilled car accident attorney is highly recommended.
An experienced lawyer will have the knowledge, expertise, and track record of success to advocate for your rights and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. Hiring an attorney greatly increases your chances of obtaining a fair and favorable settlement for your car accident.
How do you find the best car accident attorney?
Finding the best car accident attorney is paramount to the success of your case. You want someone with trial experience who is familiar with the ins and outs of car accident claims.
Look for attorneys in your area experienced in personal injury law and with a track record of success. Don’t forget to read testimonials and reviews for a better idea of what past clients have experienced.
The legal muscle you need to win
Need Help Getting Your Medical Bills Paid After a Car Accident in Texas?
Struggling to get your medical bills paid after a car accident in Texas? At DFW Injury Lawyers, we understand the stress and financial burden that comes with the unexpected medical bills of a car accident injury.
Our experienced team provides the legal representation needed to navigate the insurance claims process confidently and fight fiercely for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for help getting your medical bills paid so you can focus on your recovery.