Who Pays for Medical Bills After a Car Accident?

pexels mikhail nilov 8942266 scaled

Being involved in a car accident can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, and it’s even more challenging when you’re not sure how your medical bills will be paid. If you find yourself wondering how to cover medical expenses following an accident, you may need help from a car accident lawyer in San Antonio. With a clear understanding of your next steps, you can get those bills taken care of.

How To Pay Medical Bills After a Car Accident

Depending on exactly how the accident occurred and the extent of your injuries, there are three main ways to pay medical expenses following a car accident. These include auto insurance, health insurance, and a personal injury claim.

Auto Insurance

Medical expenses following an accident are one of the things auto insurance is designed to cover. If the at-fault driver has sufficient insurance, this is where payment for your treatments will come from.

Health Insurance

If your injuries are severe enough that treatment for them exhausts auto insurance coverage, or if there just wasn’t enough coverage to begin with, health insurance can step in to help cover the balance. However, keep in mind that you may be responsible for co-pays, deductibles, and any treatments not covered by your health plan.

Personal Injury Claim

If another driver or party was liable for your accident, you may be able to file a personal injury claim. In addition to payment for medical expenses, you may be able to collect compensation for damage to your vehicle, lost wages, and more.

Types of Auto Insurance

You are required to carry basic liability coverage on your car, but there are also some special types of auto insurance policies that can be used specifically to pay medical expenses after an accident.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Texas law requires drivers to carry liability insurance, but you may also have Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, as an extra option. PIP covers you, your passengers, and any family members driving the car at the time of the accident, regardless of who was at fault. It’s there to help pay for medical treatment, lost wages, and other expenses related to your accident. You’re not required to carry PIP, but if you don’t want it, you have to decline it in writing.

Medical Payments Coverage (MedPay)

Similar to PIP, MedPay is an optional coverage in Texas that pays for medical and funeral expenses after a car accident, regardless of fault. However, unlike PIP, MedPay coverage will not pay for lost wages.

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Texas law requires insurance companies to offer Uninsured Motorist (UM) and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage when you buy your policy. If you decide not to purchase it, you must turn it down in writing. If the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, Uninsured Motorist coverage can help pay for your medical expenses. Similarly, Underinsured Motorist coverage helps if the at-fault driver’s insurance isn’t enough to cover all your bills.

Whose Insurance Pays for Medical Bills?

Making an insurance claim can cause your rates to go up, so it’s understandable that you want to avoid using yours if possible. The decision of whose insurance must pay out relies on who is determined to be at fault in the accident.

When You’re At Fault

If you’re found to be at fault for the car accident, your insurance will be the primary source that you will turn to for coverage of those medical expenses. Your PIP or MedPay can help cover your bills, but if you don’t have enough coverage to take care of all your costs, you may need to rely on your health insurance or pay out of pocket.

When the Other Driver Is At Fault

In San Antonio, if the other driver is found to be at fault, their liability insurance should cover your medical expenses. However, this process can take time, especially if there’s a dispute about the accident. Your PIP or MedPay can help cover costs while you wait. On the other hand, if the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, you may need to turn to a personal injury attorney for help.

When to Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in San Antonio

If the insurance company is denying your claim or if your medical bills are too overwhelming to manage, a personal injury attorney can be a valuable resource. A car accident lawyer in San Antonio can help guide you through the process. An attorney can negotiate with insurance companies, help gather necessary documentation, and ensure that you’re getting the fair compensation you deserve. Find out more here.

Knowing your options and rights makes the process more manageable. Between your auto and health insurance coverage and the help available from an experienced attorney, you can take the right steps toward recovery.