Jason Stephens | June 15, 2022 | Car Accidents
A car accident can cause numerous types of injuries. Many car accident injuries require surgery and/or physical therapy. After a car accident, the medical bills can total thousands of dollars.
Who pays for treatment if I need physical therapy after a car accident? Am I responsible for paying my medical bills after a car crash? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions as well as other related topics.
Texas Is an At-Fault State for Car Accidents
Texas law holds drivers who cause car accidents financially liable for the damages caused by those accidents. Therefore, if another driver causes the crash, you can file a claim seeking compensation for damages. The driver’s insurance company compensates the injured victim for their damages in most cases.
However, you have the burden of proving the legal elements of negligence to hold the other driver legally liable for your damages. Proving fault in a car accident case requires you to have evidence showing:
- The driver owed you a duty to use reasonable care when operating the motor vehicle and follow traffic laws
- The driver breached the duty of care owed to you through the driver’s acts or omissions
- The driver’s breach of duty was the direct and proximate cause of your injuries
- You sustained damages because of the breach of duty
If you prove each of the above legal elements, you should receive compensation for your damages, including reimbursement for physical therapy bills. Unfortunately, you do not receive reimbursement for the bills and other damages until you settle your injury claim.
You do not want to settle your injury claim until you complete your doctor’s treatment plan. The doctor cannot determine if you sustained a permanent disability until you complete treatment. A permanent impairment could substantially increase your settlement amount.
However, if you settle your claim before completing medical treatment, you lose the right to sue the other driver or demand more money. It would not matter if you discovered new injuries or damages. You gave up your right to pursue other damages when you signed the settlement agreement.
How Can I Pay My Physical Therapy Bills After a Car Accident in Fort Worth?
While you receive treatment for injuries and wait to settle your car accident claim, you might be able to pay your physical therapy bills with:
Your health insurance provider might pay the physical therapy bills from a car accident. You would be responsible for payment of any deductibles or co-pays. The same would be true for health coverage through Medicaid or Medicare.
However, if you recover a personal injury settlement or jury verdict, your health insurance company can pursue a subrogation claim. A subrogation claim allows the health insurance company to receive reimbursement for medical bills it paid related to the accident from your settlement proceeds.
Automobile Medical Payments
Texas requires drivers to carry minimum amounts of liability insurance. The minimum liability insurance amount required for bodily injury is $30,000 per person (up to $60,000 per accident). However, drivers may also purchase optional insurance coverage.
If you purchased medical payments coverage (MedPay), you might be able to use that insurance to pay your physical therapy bills. Likewise, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) might pay some of your physical therapy bills if you purchased this type of insurance coverage.
Both PIP and MedPay are no-fault insurance policies. Therefore, you can file for medical payments under these policies even if you caused the car accident.
In some cases, a doctor might agree to continue treatment if you sign a medical lien. A medical lien is an agreement to pay outstanding medical bills from your personal injury proceeds. You must pay the lien before you receive any money for your damages.
However, if you do not recover money for a car accident claim, you would be liable for the entire physical therapy bill.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you cannot resolve your dispute with the other driver, you could proceed to file a lawsuit. You have the burden of proving your case by a preponderance of the evidence. If you succeed, the jury may award you reimbursement for medical bills and other damages.
Keep in mind that allegations of contributory fault could affect the value of your personal injury claim. If you are partially to blame for causing the car accident, you cannot recover full compensation for all damages.
In that case, you would be responsible for any physical therapy bills not paid by your injury settlement.
What Should I Do if I Cannot Pay for Physical Therapy?
If your doctor states you need physical therapy, you need to receive physical therapy. If not, the insurance company might allege you failed to mitigate damages. Failure to mitigate damages is a reason to reduce the value of your claim.
Talk with a car accident lawyer. An attorney might be able to direct you to other resources to help you receive physical therapy treatment after a car accident.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth car accident lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.
Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 406
Fort Worth, TX 76107