Visitor Question

Medical payout from own insurance?

Submitted By: A (USA)

I was rear-ended in an accident, and both sides agree it was the other person’s fault. I have $5k medical coverage for myself on my car insurance. I have a soft tissue injury (very mild concussion) and some doctor bills, far under $5k.

I’m handling the claim, and have a few questions:

1)

I can claim against my own company or the other driver’s company for my medical bills and pain and suffering. For my medical claims, is my company going to deal with me exactly as it would a claimant from another company? (It’s “the lizard” company if that helps.)

2) Suppose I collect say $1000 for medical from my company, even though it is the other driver’s fault, it sounds like my company is getting the short end of the stick! Do they have company-to-company procedures for settling these small items?

Cheers, and thanks for one of the best advice sites I’ve ever seen.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear A,

Thanks for the kind words about the site. To answer your questions…

1. If your medical bills are less than $5,000, there should be no reason for you to file a claim with your own insurance company. While you don’t mention the state in which you reside, it’s likely your injury claim won’t be worth much more than $10,000.

This is based on your soft tissue injuries. Insurance companies rarely pay more than 1.5x to 2x, or at the very highest 3x the amount of a victim’s medical bills.

In your case, unless you live in state where the minimum liability car insurance limits are less than $15,000, you really don’t have to be concerned with filing an injury claim under your insurance company’s underinsured policy.

The State of Florida is the only state in the country with minimum liability limits under $15,000. Florida’s minimum is $10,000. If you live in Florida, you may have a reason for filing under your underinsured policy. If you live in any other state, you should consider filing only with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

2. If your company pays you, they will “subrogate” against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. To subrogate means they will seek to recover from the at-fault driver, and his insurance company, any monies your insurance company paid to you.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: August 13, 2014

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