Can the insurance company of the at fault driver refuse to pay medical bills until a final settlement is reached?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: May 9, 2012

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Insurance Question from Austin, TX

Asked on 05/09/2012

Can the insurance company of the at fault driver refuse to pay medical bills until a final settlement is reached? Insurance company of at fault driver has accepted liability and paid for my car repairs. Medical treatment is complete bt they are refusing to pay doctor until final settlement is reached. Docotr has sent bill to collection agency. The loss happened in Austin, Tx.

Answer given on May 13, 2012

When there is an auto accident that includes bodily injury, the insurance company will not make a settlement for the injuries until all bills are submitted. They will not make partial payments to another party for their injuries. This is standard procedure for insurance companies. The insurance company needs to know the entire amount of a loss before they make a settlement so they do not exceed the liability limits of their insured’s insurance policy. If they make partial payments they could end up not paying the proper amount for the loss.If you have medical payments coverage under your auto insurance, you can file a claim through that insurance coverage and your insurance company will most likely be willing to make partial payments until the amount of insurance is used up. This coverage is usually excess coverage, so if you have medical insurance, the insurance policy will pay only for co-payments or deductibles. They would not be the principal payor for the injuries.

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