Personal Injury

Dealing with Insurance Companies FAQ

Q: Can an insurance company refuse to pay due to a pre-existing injury?

  • A:No. An insurance company is responsible for the additional injury or flare-up to a pre-existing injury.

Q: Can the insurance company refuse to pay my medical bills if my car wasn't damaged?

  • A:No. Insurance companies usually try to draw a direct connection between the amount of property damage sustained by a motor vehicle in a collision and the severity and degree of personal injury to be expected. As you know, the human body doesn't work that way. People sometimes suffer very significant injuries with minimal impact. On the other hand, there are times when people suffer only minor cuts and bruises from a major impact.

Q: Is an insurance company responsible for more than property damage?

  • A:The responsible party's insurance company owes you more than just the damage to your property. An insurance company usually must pay for:

    • All related medical bills
    • Out of pocket costs associated with an accident, such as transportation to doctor's appointments and time off of work
    • Pain and suffering, general damages or non-economic damages, how the incident has affected your life

    The challenge is putting a dollar figure these items. It would be wise to postpone a settlement until you've completed therapy and have recovered as completely as your physician feels you will.

Q: Should the insurance pay for transportation to therapy sessions?

  • A:Generally, yes.

Q: Should we provide statements to an insurance company without a lawyer's help?

  • A:The more significant the injuries, the more consideration should be given to consulting with a lawyer before providing any information to an insurance company. Without legal representation, any information given regarding the facts and circumstances surrounding the case or suit may come back to haunt the injured party at a later date. Identifying information, such as names, addresses and so on would be okay to provide.

Q: What is considered bad faith on the part of an insurance company?

  • A:Although laws vary from state to state, your own insurance company likely has an obligation to act in good faith as to you. If not, you can bring a claim for bad faith. Bad faith claims are difficult to prove and very difficult to recover on. Hinting at such a claim without a good lawyer is not going to get you anywhere. Normally, allegations of bad faith can be used as additional leverage to get the insurance company to pay fair and adequate compensation.

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