Hi there and welcome back to our frequently asked questions. I’m Jim Adler, the Texas Hammer, and today I’m explaining insurance coverage for catastrophic injuries.

Both health insurance and auto insurance can cover catastrophic injuries. But a lot depends on your situation. For example, let’s say you were seriously hurt in a car crash. Most people use their health insurance to get treatment right away, so they don’t have to wait for the auto insurance company to decide who was at fault. That’s a good idea, but even with health insurance, you can still rack up more medical bills than you can afford. That’s particularly true with catastrophic injuries, because they often require extended hospitalization and lots of follow-up care.

Now let’s say that after your car crash, you can make a claim on the other driver’s auto insurance. Depending on how much insurance they carry, that may be enough. But the legally required minimum liability insurance in Texas is only $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident. Treating a catastrophic injury can easily cost $100,000 or more, so your medical bills will still be higher than the amount that the insurance company will pay you. And that’s without thinking about coverage for any care you might need in the future, including long-term care.

You may be able to get some coverage from your own auto insurance if you bought certain insurance policies, like personal injury protection or underinsured motorist coverage. But when the insurance runs out, you’re on the hook for all the remaining bills—which many people just can’t afford. That’s why people who’ve suffered catastrophic injuries sometimes end up declaring bankruptcy or going on Medicaid.

There’s another option: A lawsuit. When the other driver was at fault for the crash, you may be able to sue them for the difference between what their insurance covers and the actual costs of the accident. That might also be true if an insurance policy should cover the injury, but the insurance company refuses to pay what it owes. At Jim Adler & Associates, we work hard to get the compensation that our clients need to heal and make ends meet.

You have rights, and our lawyers make sure those rights are respected. If you’re overwhelmed by bills after a catastrophic injury, or the insurance company refuses to help, contact us for a free consultation. You can find us at jimadler.com or 1-800-567-7575.