Can a-n insurance company refuse to pay medical bills unless you acceptits settlement?

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Can a-n insurance company refuse to pay medical bills unless you acceptits settlement?

I was rear-ended was taken to hospital because of neck pain and feeling light headed I was given a ct scan and examined no brain damage or neck damage was found. Now 3 weeks later the agent for the person who hit me and received a ticket is telling me that if I do not sign their settlement offer they will not pay the $11,000 in medical bills is this legal?

Asked on September 14, 2011 under Personal Injury, Illinois

Answers:

Mike Harvath / Harvath Law

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

     Hi.  I am sorry to hear about the accident you were in and the injuries that have resulted.  I am an Illinois personal injury attorney that handles auto accident claims.  I have seen this scenario many times.

     The insurance company's interest, generally speaking, is to settle your claim as soon as possible, as it will likely allow them to settle for the least amount of compensation possible.  This is because, more often than not, injuries resulting from car accidents take time to resolve and you are likely to need additional doctor visits, physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, or a combination of all of these.  Your injury may very likely entitle you to compensation well in excess of the actual amount of your medical bills incurred.  You are entitled to additional amounts for pain and suffering.  The type of injury is highly relevant here, as back and neck injuries can sometimes result in substantial recoveries.  In order to determine the appropriate amount of compensation that should be demanded from the insurance company, more detail on the scope of your injuries would be needed.  Also, you are entitled to any lost wages, if you were working and had to miss work.

     Personal injury attorneys are experienced at presenting the legal and medical arguments that will result in the highest settlement value for your case.  If you settle your claim too soon and need any additional medical treatment in the future, you will lose your right to obtain any reimbursement at all from the insurer of the negligent driver that caused your injury.  As mentioned, a few more details are needed to determine the appropriate level of compensation for your specific case, but it can often be well in excess of the total amount of the medical bills, especially if the accident just occurred recently and some future medical treatment might be needed.

     I hope this helps, to some extent at least.  For convenience, I can be reached via e-mail at [email protected].  Website-www.harvathmissouriillinoislawyers.com.

NOTE: This answer is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice.  The use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship or privilege between the user and the attorney responding.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It is definitely legal--settling is voluntary, and the other party (or their insurarer, representative, attorney, etc.) is free to put conditions on it--such as signing a settlement and release before giving you the money. In fact, that's almost universal: no one is going to give you a check for $11,000 unless you give them a settlement which settles the claim for that amount of money; otherwise, you could take  their check then turn around and sue for more. If the shoe were on the other foot, you own insurer or attorney would insist on this. If you don't want to sign or don't think it's enough money, you have the option of suing them instead of taking the settlement. You should discuss this matter and your situation in detail with an attorney, who can advise you as to the best course of action.


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.

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