Motor Vehicle Accidents and Your Health

Accidents happen and your actions before impact will play heavily upon your ability to take care of your health following the trauma. Are you prepared? Do you live in Montgomery County? Do you drive into Harris County? According to the Texas Department of Transportation, for the year 2017, Montgomery County had over 9,417 reported accidents with over 52 fatalities and Harris County had over 108,000 reported accidents with over 430 fatalities. Thankfully, a large percentage of the accidents are non-fatal. But how do those persons get medical care?

Know what insurance is available?

If the accident is ruled your fault or a no-fault accident, then you have your insurance to utilize for your injuries and property damages.

If the other party is at-fault, then you have the at-fault insurance as well as your own policies to utilize for your injuries.

If you are a passenger in a vehicle, each passenger is eligible for the at-fault party’s insurance coverage (if any), the owner of the vehicles coverage (if any), the driver of the vehicles coverage (if any) and finally the passenger’s auto insurance or health insurance coverage.

Lastly, there is a State Crime Victim’s Fund that is available for victim’s of a crime (hit and run) and can be utilized only if there is no coverage available AND there was a crime committed. The Crime Victims Fund is administered by the Texas Attorney Generals Office.

What are the various types of insurance?

Liability Coverage – this is a required insurance for all vehicle owners in Texas and has a minimum policy of $30,000. This covers any damage you may cause to another vehicle/property/person.

Collision Coverage – this is optional and covers damage to your own vehicle.

Comprehensive Coverage – insurance that covers damage to your vehicle from acts of God, vandalism, road debris, etc.

Personal Injury Protection – this is a required insurance in Texas, unless waived by the insured. It covers injuries sustained due to contact with a moving vehicle. But ironically, it won’t cover you if a hubcap flies off a car and hits you because the hubcap is no longer a part of the vehicle once displaced.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage – this insurance will cover expenses to you or passengers in your vehicle that exceeds the limits of the at-fault party’s liability limits.

What 4 things does PIP cover?

  1. Medical Expenses – this would cover any expenses above your Med Pay policy and assist with any deductible of your health insurance (if the Med Pay policy is exceeded). Note-because it is non-subrogatable, you can submit medical bills to both your PIP policy and the at-fault party.
  2. Funeral Expenses – it’s an inexpensive death benefit.
  3. Domestic Assistance – housework that is unable to be performed by yourself secondary to an injury involving an automobile.
  4. Lost Wages – it covers 80% of your lost wages as a result of an automobile accident.

Why should we have PIP?

PIP is an affordable insurance (ex. $60/yr. for $10,000 coverage), which offers additional coverage for the “just in case” situations. PIP will not only protect you and your family members, but it will be available for passengers in your vehicle if injuries are incurred. PIP is available to give you financial flexibility to cover household expenses and/or medical expenses that are not covered by your health insurance (which is common with automobile cases). Don’t get caught in a financial pinch when you need it the most!

Dr. Custer is the owner/operator of Better Care Chiropractic & Physical Therapy. Dr. Custer graduated from Texas Chiropractic College in 2005 with highest honors, Summa Cum Laude. He combines his expertise in sports injury rehabilitation (as an athletic trainer) with his chiropractic education to promote a fast and efficient recovery process.

If you have questions/comments/suggestions, please feel free to contact Dr. Custer at WhyBetterCare.com.

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