Anderson Injury Lawyers | September 8, 2022 | Car Accidents
Suppose you suffer injuries in a Forth Worth car accident caused by someone else. In that case, you can seek payment of your medical bills from the defendant’s insurance company, your own uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance coverage, or additional defendants who might share liability with the original defendant.
Texas Auto Insurance Requirements
Like other states, Texas requires its drivers with cars registered in the state to purchase a specified minimum amount of auto insurance. Of these categories listed below, only the first two are mandatory. The rest will apply unless rejected in writing, however:
- Bodily injury liability insurance: $30,000 per person, or $60,000 per accident shared among all claimants;
- Property damage liability insurance: $25,000;
- Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance: $2,500;
- Uninsured/Underinsured motorist bodily injury insurance: $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident; and
- Uninsured motorist property damage insurance: $25,000 with a $250 deductible.
Unfortunately, despite this law, over 1.4 million Texas drivers are uninsured.
Texas Comparative Fault Law
If the accident was partly your fault, a court would limit your recovery for all of your damages (including any amount available to pay medical bills) by deducting an amount equivalent to your percentage of fault for the accident.
For example, if your damages were $100,000, and your fault was 20%, you would lose $20,000 and have to settle for $80,000. If your percentage of fault exceeded 50%, you would receive no recovery because of Texas law regarding comparative fault.
Ways To Seek Compensation
An experienced personal injury attorney in Fort Worth, TX can find several ways for you to receive compensation for medical bills after an accident, depending on the circumstances: Following are some possible options.
File a Third-Party Claim Against the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
Texas, like most states, is an “at-fault” auto insurance state. You can file a third-party claim against the at-fault driver’s auto liability insurance policy. Your insurance claim would be “third-party” because you are filing a claim against someone else’s policy. You can also sue the at-fault driver without filing a third-party insurance claim.
File a Claim With Your Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage
As explained above, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is “semi-mandatory” in Texas. If you get hurt in an accident with an uninsured driver, you will be glad you didn’t opt out of coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage covers hit-and-run accidents even if you never locate the driver.
In some cases, more than one party is liable for an accident. Possibly well-insured second defendants include:
- A nightclub that sold the first defendant alcohol after they were visibly intoxicated. You could sue the bar as a second defendant if their intoxication contributed to your accident.
- The first defendant’s employer, if they were acting within the scope of their employment.
- The manufacturer of a defective auto part, if it contributed to your injuries (faulty brakes on either car, for example).
- The manufacturer of a defective traffic signal, if it contributed to your accident.
- The appropriate government department, if defective road maintenance contributed to your accident.
An experienced personal injury lawyer might find other defendants as well.
Temporary Relief: Medical Liens
You might discover a discrepancy between the time your compensation arrives and the time your healthcare provider demands payment. If your healthcare provider requires payment before you receive compensation, you might be able to negotiate a medical lien on your future compensation. If you do, your medical expenses will come out of your compensation before you ever see the money.
Other Possible Forms of Compensation
Medical bills are essential, but you probably lost more than medical expenses in your accident. You might also qualify for the following forms of compensation:
- Lost wages;
- Out-of-pocket expenses (child care expenses, for example);
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental anguish; and
- Other forms of compensation.
Your compensation for pain and suffering alone can be far more than your medical bills.
Hire an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer
An experienced personal injury lawyer can dramatically increase the money you are likely to win. Some personal injury lawyers can even help you find a good doctor who will accept a medical lien. If you suffered serious injuries in a car accident, seek a reputable personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.