Visitor Question

Disputing a Claim for a Minor Fender Bender…

Submitted By: Alex (Jacksonville, NC)

Recently I was in a minor fender bender. My car was completely fine (no damage). The other driver’ car didn’t even have a dent, only the paint was peeling off. This happened last month and I just got a call from my insurance saying that she’s filing a claim, stating she has a back problem.

She wants to go see a chiropractor, saying that this current accident exacerbated her previous back injury and now she is having a lot of back pain. This is after she told me and the cop on the scene that she was fine.

I want to dispute her claim. My question is, what can I do so she doesn’t receive benefits on this claim (while I get billed with her medical expenses)?

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 Alex,

The first item we should address is your anxiety about the possibility of your having to pay the woman’s medical bills. In the remote possibility your insurance company decides to admit liability on your behalf, they will pay the medical bills, not you.

You must also realize the insurance company is not in the habit of paying out on illegitimate claims.

From the facts you present it seems apparent the damage was quite minimal. Add to that the police report and the woman’s declaration to the police officer she didn’t require medical attention, and the women’s case becomes weaker by the minute.

To prove she suffered compensable injuries the woman will have to support her claim with credible medical evidence.

There is always the possibility she may go to a chiropractor, but even if she does, the insurance companies are quite adept at ferreting out those kinds of illegitimate claims.

In the very remote possibility your insurance company decides to pay the woman any money it will only be to get rid of her. Sometimes insurance companies “throw” money at a case just to get rid of it.

Insurance companies weigh and balance the cost of having their claims adjuster spend time working the case or having their attorneys defend the case. In those instances sometimes insurance companies will pay to the “aggrieved’ party a very nominal fee, usually in the hundreds of dollars.

If they do, your insurance record will probably not be blemished, or if it is it will be a very minor one.

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: January 5, 2012

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