2 Insurance companies sharing liability

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2 Insurance companies sharing liability

I had an accident 1 1/2 years ago; 2 vehicles hit me from behind. There are 2 insurance companies which shared liability 50/50. After medical and rehab for 9 months, and waiting another 5 months, the first company paid all the bills and settled with me. They sent the paperwork to the second insurance company but they have dragged their feet to settle the case complaining and low balling me on a settlement amount. Do I have any alternatives at this point? I was thinking of going back into rehab and sending them the bills? As I’m not 100% healthy yet. Will getting a lawyer involved at this stage help me?

Asked on December 6, 2016 under Accident Law, Alaska

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the second insurance company, your only recourse is to reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party.
Your personal injury settlement should include compensation for the medical bills, compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills, and compensation for wage loss.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for pain and suffering as stated above is an amount in addition to the medical bills based on the medical reports which document the nature and extent of your injury.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
If you are planning on rehab or other additional treatment, it would be premature to settle the case until either you have completed your treatment and are released by the doctor or have been declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary which means having reached a point in your treatment where no further improvement is anticipated.
If the medical report states that future treatment is needed, the settlement can include an estimate of future costs discounted to present value.
If the case is NOT settled, your lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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