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Car accidents have a habit of changing people’s lives

It only takes one quick second for a car accident to happen. That second may change your life forever.

In the moment of time it takes to drop a dime, just as it leaves your fingers and before it starts its fall, a car crash can happen. It may forever alter the life you once knew. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may now need lifetime medical care and therapy. You may not be able to work again, or not be able to return to the work you once did. These are things you need to discuss with your Austin personal injury attorney.

If you’re lucky, you may retrain for another occupation. In the meantime, you will have enormous medical bills and no income. Worse, if the person that hit you isn’t insured or doesn’t have enough insurance, you may be stuck paying the expenses on your own. If you’ve sustained traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries or other catastrophic injuries, your medical bills are likely to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Few people have that kind of money laying around. Even if you have health insurance, often the co-payments and deductibles are out of your reach.

Did you know that the Texas Department of Transportation released statistics on auto crashes that showed that one person is hurt in a car wreck every 1 minute and 58 seconds? That’s a pretty high ratio. Add to this that there are at least 4 million uninsured drivers in the state and your chances of getting hit by one of them just went up exponentially. We tend to see a fair number of car crashes in our office, and many have involved uninsured and underinsured drivers. There are ways to deal with this. That’s our job as your Austin personal injury attorney.

The unsettling reality of being hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver, or if you don’t have insurance yourself, is that you will have severe difficulty covering your medical expenses. This may mean resorting to your savings, if you have any, and possibly filing for bankruptcy. Unfortunately, nearly 50 percent of all the bankruptcies filed by Americans today are as the result of medical indebtedness.

What can you do to avoid a grim situation like this? Make sure you have car insurance, and enough of it, so that if you are ever in an accident that does result in debilitating injuries, you will be adequately covered. The law in Texas is that every driver must carry liability insurance. That means it only covers property damage and the medical bills you may cause to others. You need to discuss this with an insurance agent to learn how uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance and personal injury protection insurance are necessary to protect you. In today’s world, the higher your protection, the better it is if you are badly hurt.

Better you know what you can do to avoid medical bankruptcy now than find out later in discussions with an Austin personal injury attorney that it’s going to be a tough battle to get compensation.

Brooks Schuelke is an Austin personal injury attorney with Perlmutter & Schuelke PLLC. Contact an Austin injury lawyer at or (512) 476-4944.

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