When injury happens as a result of a car accident, the insurance situation can be especially complicated. Imagine that your accident happened a month ago and you spent two weeks in the hospital. You called your health insurance company, and they paid the medical bills. The accident claim is currently being settled by your lawyer and car insurance company. How is everyone getting paid? What is your fiscal responsibility? What will you do if the injury prevents work?
These questions can seem daunting at first. Being informed will help instill confidence that your lawyer and insurance providers are acting in your best interests. Are clients expected to pay back health insurance? The short answer is typically no. Read on to find out why.
Auto accident and personal injury lawyers usually work on contingent fees. This means that your legal counsel will receive a percentage of the claim settlement, but walk away unpaid if the claim is unsuccessful. In car accidents that result in injury, your lawyer is often the most trustworthy person on your side because your interests become his or her own. If you don’t get a fair settlement, your attorney doesn’t get paid.
An attorney will also know when to pursue punitive damages or additional money awarded for extremely unlawful or reckless behavior that facilitated the accident. The idea behind these damage payouts is to restore your life to normal working order, and disburse compensation to make up for any additional trauma. Wages lost to the accident are prone to reimbursement, as is physical therapy to reverse damage done by the collision, and in extreme cases, mental anguish.
Health Insurance Provider
Your health insurance provider is one of the first to learn of your accident. They quickly establish a lien against your medical bills, cover hospital bill negotiation, and decide what treatments will be covered. After the medical bills have been determined, the situation can get tricky. Medical insurers have subrogation rights. By backing your medical bills, they get first payout from the claim regardless of what else the money was meant to cover.
You can become indebted to the health insurance provider. However, you don’t technically owe them anything due to the personal injury coverage provided by your auto insurance agreement.
Auto Insurance Provider
Auto insurance providers are ultimately responsible for refunding your medical bills. Your health insurance provider will help you and your lawyer approach the company for damages. You may be able to come to an easy agreement, but sometimes the case will end up in court. The important thing to remember about this outcome is that even if you are at fault for the collision, the auto insurance provider is responsible for covering your medical bills. However, they may not be required to pay for the cost of the car.
If you find yourself in this complicated situation, speak to a Houston personal injury lawyer for help.
Attorney Brian White
Working out of Houston, TX, Brian White has years of tested experience dealing with auto accidents and victims of personal injury. He knows how the system works and has an intuitive understanding of how each company will respond to different claims. Contact Brian with any questions regarding injury, accident claims, or difficulties dealing with providers. A simple phone call is free, and may result in you saving thousands of dollars.