Do I List the Actual Medical Costs or Out of Pocket Medical Costs in my Demand Letter?
by Chris (Los Angeles)
I was involved in a rear end accident where I was the victim and was injured. As part of the demand letter, I am including my medical bills.
Do I include the total amount of the medical bills or just my out-of-pocket portion since I have medical insurance? Can you please explain how my settlement is affected by my medical insurance? Thanks.
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ANSWER for "Do I List the Actual Medical Costs or Out of Pocket Medical Costs in my Demand Letter?":
Chris (Los Angeles):
Your medical insurance has no direct bearing on your claim against the at-fault driver. People who are responsible enough to carry medical insurance are not penalized for doing so.
In your demand letter to the other driver you should include the total amount of your medical bills and out of pocket expenses (these can include prescription and over the counter medicines, hospital and doctor parking lot fees, and even a prorated amount of gasoline used to drive back and forth to medical appointments). In fact any legitimate expense you incurred as a result of your injury and resulting treatment can be considered an out of pocket expense. Also include the total amount of your lost wages.
The only way your medical insurance may affect your claim is through its policy of reimbursement. This means if your insurance company paid some of your medical expenses while your claim was pending against the at-fault driver, they may have a right to reimbursement from you for corresponding amounts they already paid on your behalf and which you later receive from the at-fault driver.
If your insurance company doesn't require reimbursement they will instead "subrogate" against the at-fault driver for money they may have already paid on your behalf. That's not anything you will need to be concerned with. Subrogation simply means your insurance company wants to be made whole again and will pursue reimbursement from the at-fault driver's insurance company.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
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