Having the right health insurance can make all the difference in the aftermath of a car accident. In the Lonestar State, Texans commonly use Personal Injury Protection (PIP) from their insurance companies. Medical Payments (MedPay) is another alternative.
With both of these options though, when cover is basic and your hospital bills are exorbitant, you’re going to need a reputable car accident attorney to ensure that you get what you deserve in terms of a fair financial settlement. Oftentimes, the PIP or MedPay compensation simply isn’t enough. Firstly though, let’s better understand these two offerings.
Personal Injury Protection
Personal injury protection (PIP) is a safe way to protect your family in the event of an automobile-related accident. This insurance coverage reimburses road accident victims when seeking medical assistance, as well as loss of earnings.
What makes PIP unique is that you don’t have to prove that the other driver was at fault. In Texas, unless you sign a waiver declining PIP coverage, it’ll come standard with your insurance policy. PIP is applicable to all passengers in a vehicle, regardless of fault.
Texas stipulates that each driver has PIP coverage to the value of $2500. A car accident attorney can advise best on securing better PIP coverage in Texas so that you’re not left with hefty medical bills in the event of an emergency.
When lodging a reimbursement claim it is extremely important that you have the required information, or breakdown of your expenses so that you can claim accordingly. For example, $5000 of PIP insurance coverage could be used in the event of you being taken to hospital in an ambulance for a broken leg and then paying for the X-rays.
Some of the costs covered by PIP include:
- Accident-related medical bills
- Physical rehabilitation
- Lost income
- At-home care
- Ambulance transportation
- Funeral costs
A PIP policy will give a family dealing with the grief and trauma of an accident some breathing room, as you don’t need to wait for a third-party claim or litigation. All policyholders can expect payment up to the amount for which they are covered.
A car accident attorney is there to assist road accident victims to recover losses that the insurance policy won’t cover. They’ll take the fight to the insurers or the driver who drove negligently and caused the accident. They’ll do this on your behalf, giving you time to recover.
Medical Coverage Payment
Medical Payments (also known as MedPay) is similar to PIP, except that it does not cover any expenses such as lost wages arising from a road accident. Obviously, if an auto accident leaves you unable to work this is a major inconvenience.
Ideally, both PIP and MedPay should be used in tandem so that you can use MedPay to get some of your medical bills covered, and PIP for your loss of earnings or other unforeseen costs that will be covered by your policy (as outlined above).
With MedPay your insurance company will pay some of the accident-related expenses, but they will then seek to recoup their expenses from your personal injury settlement. This is what’s known as a ‘subrogation lien’ in the industry. This isn’t ideal, but here again, a car accident attorney can often get that subrogation lien reduced, which can allow the car accident victim to recover larger net proceeds.
The benefits of MedPay are that it doesn’t cost a lot and it can be used to pay the deductibles of other types of coverage, such as health insurance or your IP car insurance.
The Subrogation Clause
Legally speaking, subrogation is the substitution of your place in a claim for a lawyer who then asserts your rights. Many health insurance plans have a subrogation clause that stipulates that the mandated insurance company is entitled to recoup that money to cater for its expenses if the insurance owner is owed money related to reimbursement of healthcare costs.
A smart idea is to put your health insurance provider in contact with your car insurance company – and ask a car accident attorney to walk you through your options. They will know what’s best to pay to whom, and from which policy. For example, if you have a different source of funds such as health insurance and PIP, you will pay less in deductibles, as compared to having only one insurance plan.
While MedPay and PIP can cater to your medical expenses, both of them serve a different purpose. Therefore, it is highly advisable to consider adding an extra coverage plan to your car insurance coverage.
Choosing What’s Best For You With the Right Car Accident Attorney
Having an experienced car accident attorney assisting you with this process is paramount, as all this negotiation and understanding which bills to pay from which account can get confusing. Even more so in the immediate aftermath of an accident. Ideally, you’ll want to ensure that you and your family are well covered before any potential accidents so that you have peace of mind when you’re driving.
If, however, you have just been involved in a car accident and you don’t know what to do next, you can call our law offices today at any of our convenient locations and get a free consultation from an experienced car accident attorney.
We’ve been helping victims of car accidents recover for their losses for many years and are well versed in ensuring that if you’ve been hurt in an accident, all the related costs don’t hurt you any further.
Call our law offices today at any of our convenient locations and get a free consultation.
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