Visitor Question

Treatment Stopped by Physician…

Submitted By: Arlene (Tacoma, WA, USA)

While stopped at a four way intersection, a truck that was stopped behind me got rear-ended by an intoxicated driver. The impact caused the truck behind me to collide into the rear of the vehicle I was in, twice.

I was injured and I followed up with a medical doctor. I also had physical therapy massages. The original treating physician determined my treatment was complete, even though I am still in pain and getting worse. Now I won’t have any available medical treatment.

Is there anything I can do to continue getting the treatment I need? Thank you.

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.


Dear Arlene,

Yes. The State of Washington is a “No-Fault” insurance state. That means you must turn to your own insurance company to pay for your medical treatment. Go to another doctor. Tell the insurance company’s claims adjuster you are still in pain and the pain is worsening.

You have a right to a second medical opinion and your insurance company knows that. If you’re hurt, you’re hurt. It’s as simple as that.

Be careful when signing any documents or endorsing any checks from your insurance company, especially if the document or check has any language about a “Release”. If you do you may not be able to get them to pay for any further medical treatment.

If your insurance company refuses to continue to pay for your treatment you have the option of telling them you believe they are acting in bad faith, and if they continue to do so you will consider filing a “Bad-Faith” lawsuit against them.

Bad Faith insurance lawsuits are the kind insurance companies like to avoid at all costs. That’s because if the plaintiff (you) win, the court can award thousands of dollars in actual medical bills, and related expenses + an amount for “Punitive Damages”. And there usually isn’t a cap on the amount of punitive damages so “the sky is the limit”.

If it gets to the point where you consider filing a bad faith lawsuit you would be better served by having an attorney represent you. Lawsuits, especially against insurance companies, are complex and can be protracted.

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: May 4, 2012

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