Can I sue the owner of a car after their insurer paid out but I still have doctor bills?

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Can I sue the owner of a car after their insurer paid out but I still have doctor bills?

Asked on August 2, 2013 under Accident Law, North Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the case was settled (you received a settlement check and signed a release giving up your claim against the at-fault party / registered owner), you can't sue the other party for additional medical bills.

If the case was NOT settled and the insurance company has paid some of your medical bills, but you did not receive a settlement check and did not sign a release giving up your claim against the at-fault party / registered owner, the case is still ongoing.

When you completed your medical treatment and were released by the doctor or were declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary which means having reached a point in your medical treatment where no further improvement was anticipated, you should have filed a personal injury claim with the at-fault party's (registered owner's) insurance carrier which included your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports document the nature and extent of your injury and are used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

If the case was settled with the at-fault party's ( regustered owner's) insurance carrier (you received a settlement check and signed a release of your claim as mentioned above), the case is over and you can't sue the at-fault party (registered owner).

If the case was NOT settled as discussed above, you could sue the at-fault party (registered owner) for negligence.

IF the case was NOT settled, your lawsuit for negligence must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your rights in the matter will be lost forever.

 


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