Settlement for 3 wheeler accident under homeowners policy?
My 13 year old son was in a vehicular accident with the son of a family friend. The friend's son was driving the vehicle, and because the vehicle had 3 wheels, it was not covered under their auto policy. We are now working with the homeowners carrier to settle the claim.
In initial conversations with the claims adjuster, they indicated that they would not reimburse medical expenses until treatment has concluded. We currently have about $6,000 in medical expenses and my son may need some additional treatment down the line related to scarring that may occur over his injuries.
Is it typical for a company to hold off on payment until treatment is concluded? I am concerned because we are receiving second notices requesting payment and it will be difficult to allocate the funds to pay them up front. What is proper protocol here? Is there anything we should know? Thank you.
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ANSWER for "Settlement for 3 wheeler accident under homeowners policy?":
Scott (Richmond, VA):
There is no law in the State of Virginia requiring an insurance company to pay compensation to a victim, whether during a victim's treatment or when treatment has concluded. You are fortunate the homeowners insurance company has agreed to compensate your son's injuries and related medical bills.
In many cases, ATV accidents are not covered. Additionally, homeowners insurance companies rarely pay for pain and suffering, and if they do, it is usually a nominal amount. Your son's injuries no doubt resulted in pain and suffering.
You might be able to convince the insurance company to settle the claim now. If you are able to do so, it is likely the company will require you, on behalf of your son, to sign a full release. If that occurs, and your son continues to treat, you will not be able to get any more money.
Under the circumstances, you would be well-served to seek the counsel of a personal injury attorney. Here's how to choose the best injury attorney for your case. An attorney will very likely be able to secure a higher settlement offer, including enough money to pay for your son's past and future treatment.
Moreover, if the homeowners insurance isn't sufficient to cover your son's damages, the attorney can pursue the homeowner personally. Damages can include your son's medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses (for such items as medications, bandages, costs of travel to treatment, etc.), and for his 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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