Who Pays Auto Repair and Medical Bills After a Car Accident?

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, more than 230,000 people are injured in car crashes annually, and almost 90,000 of them sustain serious injuries. Someone is killed about every two hours on Texas roadways, and that includes not only drivers but also motorcyclists, passengers and pedestrians. The costs associated with recovering from a car crash can be catastrophic. A seasoned Houston car crash lawyer can help victims of traffic accidents protect their rights and their finances. Costs Associated with Car Accidents A single crash can leave drivers reeling with astronomical bills. A Houston personal injury attorney can be your ally during this difficult time and help you get those bills paid. The most obvious cost may be the damage to the vehicles. Even minor car accidents can leave owners with hefty repair bills, towing costs, rental car expenses and reduced value. Other costs may include the cost of a new vehicle if yours was totaled or the cost of personal property that was lost, damaged or destroyed in the accident. If anyone in the crash sustained injuries, there may be immediate medical bills, but many victims also face long-term expenses in the form of lost wages, reduced earning ability, physical therapy and rehabilitation. Insurance Your insurance and the other driver’s insurance can play a big role in covering the costs of an accident. The at-fault driver’s insurance might cover collision repairs and the cost of personal injuries. If the other driver was responsible for the crash, his or her liability coverage will likely pay for damage to your car. You might have the option of filing a claim directly with the carrier, or a Houston personal injury attorney can file a claim on your behalf. Insurance companies might try to settle quickly, but this can leave you with some unpaid expenses, which is why the assistance of an attorney can be invaluable. An attorney with experience can foresee many potential costs and ensure the most appropriate settlement for your case. If you are responsible for the accident, your collision coverage will cover the cost of your damaged vehicle depending on your coverage. When you purchase your car insurance, the fine print of the insurance contract spells out exactly what is and is not covered. In most cases, this will include the costs of any needed repairs up to the actual cash value of the vehicle and the coverage limits of your plan. The deductible, or amount you must pay out-of-pocket, will usually range from $500 to $1,500 but may be higher in some cases. Health insurance might also cover some of the costs of your accident, particularly if you have suffered a serious personal injury. The amount of coverage available will vary based on your insurance contract, and your insurer may require payment from the auto insurance company of the at-fault driver before paying any medical bills. Many drivers with minor crashes and no injuries might prefer to cover costs out-of-pocket to reduce the risk of higher insurance premiums and other consequences. Those who are paying the costs out-of-pocket may want to talk to their own Houston car crash lawyer to fully protect their rights. The Process The claims process can be intimidating, but knowing what to expect can make the process easier. Your vehicle will first need to be inspected so that the claims adjuster can determine the full amount of the loss and damages. Once your vehicle has been inspected along with any necessary records, such as medical records and police reports, the insurance company will offer a settlement. If the initial offer seems low, you or your Houston car crash lawyer have the option of declining the offer, explaining the extent of your financial loss and making a counter demand for the costs you hope to recoup.