Does the “at fault” driver’s insurance company have to pay my medical bills directly or can they send me the check to cover my medical bills?

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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 2, 2012

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Insurance Question from Portsmouth, VA

Asked on 05/02/2012

Does the “at fault” driver’s insurance company have to pay my medical bills directly or can they send me the check to cover my medical bills? I was rear ended by a driver who wasn’t paying attention, His insurance company accepted 100% liability. I am 7 mos pregnant and my 10 year old son was in the car with me. I had to take two weeks off of work and go through physical therapy and several doctors appointments (thank god my son and unborn baby was ok). I had to go back and forth over the phone with the "at fault" driver’s insurance company and finally got all of my medical bills and loss wages sent over to him. My Medical bills totalled around $6,300 and lost wages were $900. I sent him a letter asking for pain and suffering. He called me with a today with a verbal settlement of $8,300.00 Which is $6,300 for my medical and $2,000 for pain suffering and lost wages. He said he would send me the check for the full amount as soon as I signed the agreement he emailed me. In the email it said I will be getting a check for only $2,000 and he will pay my medical bills directly up to $6,300. I refused to sign the agreement and I called him back and now im not getting an answer from him. I think he offered me the $8,300 just to try to rush me into settling, when he knew he was only going to issue me a check for $2,000. $2,000 is very low for a settlement amount. Especially when it already includes $900 for lost wages. So that means he’s only paying me $1100 for pain and suffering. Now I dont know what to do or what steps to take.

Answer given on May 19, 2012

In an auto accident with bodily injury, that was caused by another driver, the other insurance company will wait until all medical bills are submitted and then make an offer for the medical expenses plus an additional amount of things such as lost wages. They wilso usually settle for an additional amount for pain and suffering.The adjuster will usually send payment directly to the medical providers for your injurues, especially if the providers have agreed to wait for the payment from the insurance company. If you have not paid for the medical expenses already, then you should not expect the insurance company to pay you directly.For the other part of the settlement, you will need to talk to the adjuster explaining why you feel a higher amount is needed. If the adjuster will not return your calls, ask for a supervisor and talk to them about a higher settlement amount.

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