Have I jeopardized my claim with my insurance by accepting car damages from the at fault driver?

I was hit by an uninsured motorist. I sued him in small claims court for the car damage and got money. But the medical and bodily injury portion is being settled with my insurance company. I was told to settle the car with him.

Asked on November 9, 2011 under Accident Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You did NOT jeopardize your claim.  The property damage claim is separate from the personal injury claim.  You could have filed the property damage claim with your insurance company as an uninsured motorist claim, but since you successfully sued the uninsured motorist and received compensation, that is fine.

When you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary which means no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of any wage loss.  Your personal injury claim will consist of the medical bills, medical reports and wage loss documentation.  File your personal injury claim with your insurance company since you apparently have uninsured motorist coverage.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine the amount of compensation you receive for pain and suffering.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance company, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault driver.  If the case is settled with the insurance company, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled with the insurance company, you will need to file your lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.