Passenger injured in an ATV accident with no insurance?
(Mountain Iron, MN)
I was a passenger in an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) accident. The ATV hit a deer. I sustained a broken wrist (needed surgery and possible 2nd surgery), lacerations, and road rash scrapes. I will be out of work for 6 plus weeks due to my injuries. The owner of the ATV did not have insurance on the ATV.
I do have private health insurance, but now they want to know about my auto insurance and the other person's auto insurance. Who is libel to pay for my medical expenses? Do I need to file a claim with my auto insurance company? Do I have to file suit against and driver and/or owner of the ATV? Thanks for any direction you can give here.
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ANSWER for "Passenger injured in an ATV accident with no insurance?":
Maryann (Mountain Iron, MN):
Your private health insurance company likely requires you to reimburse them for payments made on your behalf when you are paid from a third party source for the same expenditures.
You do not have a legal obligation to give your private health insurance company the insurance information of the driver of the ATV. However, if you receive payments from the driver's insurance company, and those payments are for the same items already paid for by your private health insurance company, you likely have an obligation to disclose those payments to your health insurance company.
The driver of the ATV is the primary party who is liable to pay for your damages. Damages can include your medical and therapy bills, out-of-pocket expenses (for medications, costs of travel to and from treatment, crutches, bandages, etc.), lost wages, and for your pain and suffering. This is true especially if the driver was negligent and that negligence resulted in your injures.
You have a right to sue the ATV driver if you believe the driver was negligent, and that negligence resulted in your injuries. Prior to filing suit though, you can ask the driver to voluntarily pay for your medical bills, etc.
You have a duty to contact your own car insurance company. Doing so will assure that if you aren't reimbursed form a third party source, your car insurance company will pay for your damages.
Your injuries appear to be quite serious. Because of this, you really need to have legal representation. This is especially true if you are considering suing the driver.
Here's how to choose the best injury attorney for your case.
One more thing... even though your health insurance company will require you to reimburse them for payments made by third parties, you DO NOT have to reimburse your health insurance company for payments to you from third parties representing your pain and suffering.
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.
Best of luck,
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