GRACE PERIOD FOR MY RESPONSIBILITY’S?

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GRACE PERIOD FOR MY RESPONSIBILITY’S?

Hello Mr. Hupy,
My dog Bite someone while i was walking him-Mildly, don’t even think it was a bite, but a scratch with his nail. It was one small pin hole puncture, she went to the ER, no stitches, not deep enough for that, so they cleaned her up, gave her a shot pills and sent her home. I got the bill, she did use her medical insurance for this, and she wants 1800.00 to pay back her insurance. I am confused because I spoke to this insurance provider and they do not take payments back once a claim is made. I am not trying to avoid responsibility , but she told me if i don’t pay her in 2 weeks, so she can pay back her insurance , she is going to sue me. I offered a 4week payment plan of 450.00 ea, because I do not have all of it right now, and she refused. she wants it now. I will pay her medical bills but Can she do that? If i don’t pay her in 2 weeks can she sue me?

Asked on November 6, 2016 under Personal Injury, Illinois

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It sounds like you are being extorted.  You are not refusing to do the right thing.... you are just asking for a reasonble repayment plan.  I would not trust or assume that the payments you make to this person will actually make it to the insurance company.  An insurance company does have the right to ask for reimbursement. However, if you pay the lady and she does not forward the funds to the insurance company, then the company could still sue you...because they would not know of the deal that was cut.
If you pay her any funds, you want to make sure that she signs a release to insure that the payment is is documented and that she can't come after you again. If you pay her without a release, she will have the right to keep the funds and then use them to potentially hire an attorney to sue you for additional damages. It's a pain to hire an attorney, but it really is worth the funds to hire an attorney to at least draft an agreement, a release, and help structure a repayment plan that is reasonable.  If you are willing to make payments, then an insurance company will usually work with you.  An attorney can help you reach the insurance company and work out that plan.
In the mean time, if you are a homeowner, you may want to contact your homeowner's insurance policy.  They may provide coverage for the bite.  They may also be able to assist you with a defense of the claim. 
You can't stop this lady from filing a claim, but just because she files a claim doesn't mean she will win or get the 'payment in full on demand' that she is insisting from you.  A law suit requires her to hire an attorney, file a petition, and then have you served.  From there, a couple of court dates will be set, discovery will be conducted, and the case sent to mediation.  This process can take anywhere from six months to a year.  Bottom line, she won't get the 'full payment' in 14 days like she is insisting now. 
It's your dog.  If you were negligent in the supervision of your dog and it bit someone, then you do have some liability.  However, the justice system still has options to insure that you are treated fairly.


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