Car accidents are serious. Massive cages of formed metal and plastic colliding at high speeds can produce terrible injury. What happens after an accident? Who is responsible for your medical bills? How are those bills paid? Read on to learn the basics, and clear up the mystery surrounding fiscal responsibility for injuries caused by auto accidents.
If you’re involved in an accident, contact a car accident lawyer. They specialize in these types of injury claims and can navigate the challenging waters of fault and payout. Medical bills stemming from auto injury can bankrupt families. Reconstructive or emergency surgery, chronic pain, and ongoing physical problems, or long hospital stays can all push the bill into six digits. As a vulnerable citizen at the mercy of insurance agencies, staying informed can save you from the crushing power of high medical care costs.
Who Is Responsible?
Automotive insurance comes with personal injury clauses that protect motorists when a collision results in medical bills. Therefore, your auto insurance company is financially responsible for the injury.
However, your health insurance provider will be the one to negotiate those bills with the hospital. Hospitals have huge billing lists for medical procedures and equipment that is often heavily overpriced, and health insurance providers will haggle about the final price, sometimes leaving patients with a large part of the bill. Auto insurance companies are ill-equipped to handle medical negotiation and are largely unwilling to make the attempt.
What Should I Do?
If you find yourself in the hospital due to an auto collision, contact your health insurance provider first. They will handle financial negotiations. It’s common for health insurance providers to assist with contacting the auto insurance company the client is approaching to make a claim. Auto insurance companies will be less likely to dispute a hospital bill covered by a personal injury clause when presented with a prenegotiated bill.
Do not forget the vehicle! Consult a lawyer regarding your auto restoration needs, and how they fits into the overall claim. Coverage will vary from provider to provider, and some will cover cleanup and property restoration costs. Try to itemize objects destroyed in the crash to get a clearer picture of the costs.
What Happens Next?
The health insurance company is still primarily obligated to provide financial reimbursement. They will procure a lien on the claim that will be paid to you regardless of the outcome. This serves the same function as a creditor to real estate, but in this case the client receives a powerful ally. With money on the line, your health insurance provider is very likely to take charge of pressing the auto insurance company to settle the claim.
The money goes through a process called subrogation. This means that the health insurer recoups the losses from your medical expenses through the auto insurance provider. Legal subrogation will circumvent auto insurance providers who typically send personal checks to recover from damages.
The matter can go to court, though the health insurer will likely be involved in proceedings. Seek advice from a lawyer. Sometimes clients give up because the process seems too complex or too stressful. With a strong, guiding hand and expert knowledge, a lawyer can minimize the stress and ensure delivery of what is owed to customers.
Attorney Brian White
Brian White is an injury lawyer in Houston with a long history of handling auto accidents and navigating tricky claims. He is at the forefront of Houston personal injury law, with unmatched professionalism and knowledge.
If you need advice or have even passing questions, contact him. Advice is free of charge. He understands the trepidation and victimization accident victims experience and will work hard to take care of your needs.