Visitor Question

Further Medical Bills After Settlement…

Submitted By: Sabrina (Atlanta, GA)

I was in a truck riding with my friend.

He hit a pole which broke the back window. I was alright at the time, except my head hurt a bit. The insurance company sent me a $350 check as a settlement. The accident happened on 07/14/11 but the settlement stated I had 7 days of medical treatment if I needed to go to the doctor.

A couple of days later I had to go for treatment so I did. The insurance company paid my bill for the initial visit but on 07/29/11 I had to go back (I was having back pain).

The doctor said I needed further treatment because I had a blockage in my back. I had to go back to the doctor again the next month for the same thing. My medical bills have piled up and the insurance company is saying there’s nothing they can do. Is this true? I can’t hold a job from that injury the damage to my back. Thanks.

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 Sabrina,

If you signed a Release form when the insurance company sent you the money or at anytime thereafter, you are in for a letdown.

Regrettably, once you sign a Release you almost always lose your rights to pursue legal action against either the at-fault party or their insurance company.

Now, let’s look at another possibility.

If you can prove the insurance company knew, or had reason to know your injuries required more extensive treatment than you received, there may be a possibility for a “bad faith” settlement lawsuit against the insurance company.

There is another avenue to think about as well…

Just because you settled with the insurance company doesn’t mean you still can’t sue the driver.

If you do file suit the insurance company will most probably use the Release you signed as a legally persuasive reason for the court to have your case dismissed. At least though there remains the possibility of a settlement after the fact, so to speak.

Regrettably, insurance companies are notorious for getting people to settle cases as quickly as possible, without concern for the injured parties’ future needs for medical treatment. For them it’s just business as usual.

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: December 1, 2011

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