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Injured Texans Hurt by Paid and Incurred Law

San Antonio injury lawyers are united in their outrage over a law that is referred to as the “paid and incurred” law. The Texas legislature passed this law in 2003. In 2005 the legislature, with the backing of medical professionals and legal professionals, attempted to undo this mistake, but the governor failed to sign the new legislation. In short, the law states that when an injured party seeks to recovery for his personal injury all that can be submitted are those bills that have been “paid and incurred”. Previously, the injured party could submit the value of the medical services they require to become whole or in other words the non-discounted value of the medical services provided.

As an example: A hardworking Texan buys health care for his family. Part of the benefit of health insurance is that your health care providers agree to provide their services at a discount to all members of that health plan. The hardworking Texan buys the health insurance to protect his family and because it is against his principles to place the risk on society if something catastrophic happens to him or his family.

If the hardworking Texan and his family are hit by a drunk driver sending them to the hospital, they will get medical treatment at a substantial discount because of their foresight in buying health insurance. The discount provided by health insurance plans vary but can often be approximately 75%. Because of “paid and incurred” the drunk driver gets a substantial break on the economic damages and is only responsible for the 25% of the medical bills paid by the insurance company. Prior to “paid and incurred” the drunk driver was responsible for the reasonable value of the services provided by the hospital.

If a family without health insurance is injured by a drunk driver they can submit and likely recover the value of the services provided by the hospital. In essence the party without insurance is likely to recover far more than the responsible person with health insurance. “Paid and incurred” has the effect of penalizing injured Texans who have health insurance. “Paid and incurred” also has the effect of awarding negligent and drunk drivers who injure insured drivers.

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