Back in December of 2010 I was in an accident where the party at fault pulled out into traffic causing the accident. I found this odd that Texas allows for the Auto Insurance Company to wait until your treatment is completed before talking settlement. I have been told by my Health Insurance they will require repayment for their cost of treatment. Here where thing get hairy. I have heard that he at fault insurance company pays back my health insurance directly and the settlement is separate. I cannot find anything that supports what I have been told, nor how does the at fault insurance deem pain and suffering.
I had both of my knees injured in the accident and have to live with the pain daily. Some day better than other days, but the rehab has treated me until I could walk with lit
Much of your question goes to insurance company practices rather than "Texas law." Many times, your health insurer will put the insurance company on notice of its right of subrogation. Simply put, the health insurance policy typically gives the insurer the right to get reimbursed from a third party settlement. To protect itself, the third party insurance company will send one check to the health insurer and another to you. This is a prime example of why it's important to have an experienced personal injury attorney work for you. Your attorney will negotiate with the health insurer in order to reduce the amount paid for subrogation. Your attorney can also refer you to healthcare providers who work under a letter of protection without submitting your claim to your health insurance. This allows you to recover the full value of your medical expenses rather than the amount that was paid by the inusurer (which is usually discounted). Your attorney will also negotiate the amount due to the providers who work under a letter of protection. In short, I would contact a personal injury attorney in Houston who can walk you through your issues.
There is no one law that addresses all of the issues that come up in personal injury cases touched on in your posting. I am licensed in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, but the issues are the same. For example, the health insurance companies insure against your health and wellness issues. However, when a third party causes an injury, the innards of your contract with your health insurance company require that you pay them back for any associated bills. Experienced personal injury attorneys in every state deal with this issue through a process that goes beyond one law or one summary. First, we obtain a lien itemization. Second, we review the lien with the client to make sure that all of the charges actually relate to the accident. Third, we look to see if there is some other coverage other than the liability coverage - such as PIP or medpay - that could go towards lien repayment so that the lien does not have to come out of the client's settlement. Fourth we look at factors that may allow the lien holder to negotiate a reduction of that lien. Fifth, we engage in final discussions with the lien holder.
There is no "law" requiring that the liability insurance company not talk about settlement until your treatment is over. But, this is common sense. You can not receive a fair settlement until you know the length and extent of your injuries and treatment, or whether you may have any long-term or residual symptoms.
After a motor vehicle accident it is very important that the personal injury claim be presented properly to the insurance claims department. For the above, and many other reasons, personal injury attorneys earn their fee, which is usually about one third. I do not apologize for my fee because I am an experienced professional and I work hard for my clients. If you are serious about obtaining the best settlement possible, you will retain a good personal injury attorney in your jurisdiction as soon as possible. The insurance company's only interest is to delay, deny and defend against your claim.
Here is one example: last year an individual came to me with an injury case they were struggling with themselves. They did not know why the insurance company would not make an offer. They had made a demand. I told them what the case was really worth. Several months later, I settled that case for over twice what the do-it-yourself client had demanded. Without an experienced personal injury attorney, you may well be short changing yourself.
You are correct that the insurance for the at fault driver will not pay until they are able to assess their exposure. This has nothing to do with Texas law. This is true of every insurance carrier I have ever worked with. If the injury to your knees is anything more serious than a minor bruise, you are foolhardy to proceed without an attorney. An attorney will be able to get more money for you and will also be able to reduce the amount which you are obligated to repay your health insurance. Hire an experienced personal injury attorney in your area. You will get more money, you will repay less money, and perhaps most importantly, your attorney will be responsible for all of these matters. Good luck.
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