Last Friday, the Texas Supreme Court continued with its well established pattern of choosing insurance companies over individuals. Most health insurance policies contain a subrogation clause that says that if a Texas personal injury victim recovers for medical expenses that a health insurance company paid then the personal injury claimant will reimburse the insurance company for the amounts the company paid. The problem arises when there is not enough money to go around. For the last twenty-seven years, led in part by cases from our Austin court of appeals, Texas has followed the made-whole doctrine that says that insurers don’t get paid back until the victim is made whole. Courts have recognized that people buy health insurance to protect themselves and that if someone is left holding the bag, it ought to be the insurance companies.
Friday, the Supreme Court issued the decision of Fortis Benefits v. Cantu that threw twenty-seven years of law into upheaval. Now, imagine you’re in a serious car wreck where you have a surgery that costs your health insurance $25,000.00. And imagine you’re off recovering from the surgery for a long period costing you tens of thousands of dollars in lost work income. Unfortunately, the other driver only has $20,000.00 of insurance coverage. In the past, you’d be entitled to keep that money to compensate you for your lost wages, pain and mental anguish, inability to play with your kids or loved ones, etc. But now, insurance companies will use the new case to argue that they should be receive the entire $20,000.00 and that you get nothing — not a penny.
But don’t fear. We, along with other Texas personal injury attorneys and lawyers, are working hard to brainstorm and come up with the best legal positions possible to protect the injured. The fight to protect the ordinary citizens of Austin, in particular, and Texas, as a whole, may be harder, but we’re not giving in.
To contact Austin Personal Injury Lawyer, Austin Personal Attorney, Austin Accident Lawyer, Austin Injury Lawyer Perlmutter & Schuelke, PLLC or to learn more about Austin Personal Injury visit http://www.civtrial.com/.