One of the hardest parts of our job as Carrollton personal injury attorneys is hearing that people are struggling to make ends meet after their accidents. And the ugly truth is that even if you’re injured through no fault of your own, you still have to pay your bills. This is true for any accident victim, whether your losses result from a slip-and-fall, car crash, or a dog attack. Medical bills alone can average anywhere around $12,600. And while the medical bills are coming in, you’re still responsible for covering expenses like your mortgage, utilities, and other necessities.
The hope is that you make a swift recovery and you can cover these costs with personal savings, paid time off, or sick days, but that’s not always the case. Depending on your injuries, you may be out of work for days, weeks, or even months while you recover.
So what can you do if you’re injured, unable to work, and have mounting medical bills and living expenses, but little to no income to pay them?
In this article, we’ll look at several options that might alleviate some of your financial stress in the meantime and how you can recover compensation for all of your losses (including missed wages, medical bills, and other out-of-pocket expenses) later down the road.
One method you may be able to use to pay some of your bills is personal injury protection, or PIP, insurance. Personal Injury Protection insurance, or “PIP,” falls under the wider umbrella of auto insurance. It covers some medical expenses—and possible extended coverage like lost wages and funeral expenses—for you and your passengers after a car wreck, regardless of who caused the crash.
However, PIP is designed specifically for car accidents. So, if you sustained your injuries in some sort of other accident, like a slip-and-fall or a worksite accident, this coverage will not apply to you.
In Texas, insurers are required to offer you at least $2,500 of PIP insurance, unless you write a letter declining the coverage. If you do nothing, PIP coverage is automatically added to the policy.
The specific expenses covered by PIP will vary from plan to plan, but generally, PIP covers any necessary medical procedures and associated reasonable expenses relating to injuries sustained during a collision. Covered expenses may include:
- Ambulance charges
- Hospitalization costs
- Necessary medical procedures, including surgeries and operations
- Physical therapy or rehabilitation
- Ongoing care
- Lost wages, if you are forced to stop working for a time
- Death benefits and/or funeral costs
- Expenses for duties you may be unable to fulfill, such as house cleaning and child care
PIP pays immediately, so you don’t have to wait through a long lawsuit before getting the compensation you need. Plus, it doesn’t require you to reimburse your auto insurer.
While it may not be much, it will relieve some of your financial headaches, and it’s especially helpful if you don’t have health insurance.
Hiring a Carrollton Personal Injury Attorney
The above options can act as financial band-aids if you’re going through a tough time, but ultimately, your best recourse to receive the maximum compensation you’re entitled to is to hire a Carrollton personal injury attorney.
Thankfully, under Texas law, if you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence you have the right to file a claim—or lawsuit—for any losses you’ve suffered. This not only includes:
- Lost wages and any missed earning opportunities;
- Past and expected future medical costs associated with the accident;
- Any pain and suffering you’ve endured, or will endure, as a result of the accident;
- And any other out-of-pocket costs.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are unsure of your ability to pay your bills, at the very least you should consult an attorney—and the earlier, the better. Most personal injury attorneys offer free, no-obligation consultations and they can review your case to help you determine your best course of action.
When you hire an experienced attorney, they will be able to help you gather evidence and present your case so that you can maximize compensation and take care of your bills. Most importantly, they can act as your advocate and help you avoid making mistakes that can hurt you later down the road, like agreeing to a lowball settlement offer or a predatory loan. Fortunately, personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis. This means that they will not charge anything for their services until your case is either won or settled.
If You're Struggling to Make Ends Meet After An Accident, Our Attorneys Are Here to Help
If you’re struggling to pay some or all of your bills after being injured in an accident, make sure to talk to one of our Carrollton personal injury attorneys. We can discuss your financial options, get you in touch with healthcare providers who are willing to treat you regardless of your ability to pay, and will work hard to maximize the compensation you receive from the at-fault party. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation.