If a insurance company accidentally overpayed me in a settlement case, who is responsible for repayment?

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If a insurance company accidentally overpayed me in a settlement case, who is responsible for repayment?

Is it me, the client, or the law firm?

Asked on August 28, 2014 under Personal Injury, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If you received the overpayment, *you* are responsible for repaying it. An error does NOT entitle you to receive more money than you are otherwise entitled to, such as pursuant to a settlement. You are only entitled to the amount of the settlement.

(Consider: say that you meant to hand the pizza delivery person a $20 to pay for a $16 pizza and told him that "here's a twenty; keep the change"; if you accidentally handed him a $50, he would not be entitled to keep $34 of yours simply due to a mistake. Or if you were making a car payment and meant to send $200 but accidently doubled up and sent $400, they could not simply keep the extra $200, but instead would have to either return or credit you the money. The same rule applies to you as it would to somone else receving extra money from you by mistake: you have to return th extra.)

If you do not voluntarily return the money, you can be sued for it. Again, someone else's mistake does not let you keep money to which you are not otherwise entitled.


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