Does auto insurance company get any incentives for collision/med pay caused by uninsured motorist?

Asked 11 months ago - Fremont, CA

Got a friend who get in an accident with an uninsured driver. He is not at-fault. Now, it seems like his own insurance co will pay for his car repairs and will pay for his med pay since he got injured. He wondered why auto insurance company shoulder costs of damage.injury caused by uninsured motorists. Does insurance company get any incentived by doing so? Who will they go after to get their money back after paying collision/med pay caused by uninsured? Please help provide some insights on this Avvo attorneys!

Attorney answers (9)

  1. Malosack Berjis

    Contributor Level 20

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . In exchange for monthly premiums, that included costs for uninsured motorist coverage, your friend's insurance company "shoulders" the expenses, in the event that their insured is involved in an accident with an at-fault uninsured motorist. As a part of the process, your friend subrogates his rights to his insurance carrier, who can then go after the uninsured motorist for compensation.

    Ms. Berjis is licensed to practice law in the State of California. The laws of your jurisdiction may differ and... more
  2. Stephen Ross Cohen

    Contributor Level 20

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . this is the best insurance, because it pays you!!! The insurance companies would insure your marble if they could make a profit. Do not cry for them.


    If you are involved in a personal injury or accident matter in Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside or San Bernardino, California. Always seek the advice of local counsel, other states may have different laws, use the tab above for your state.

    1) ALWAYS CONSULT A MEDICAL SPECIALIST WITHIN DAYS TO RULE OUT OR TREAT INJURIES. AFTER AN ACCIDENT THE HUMAN BODY SWELLS AND THE DAMAGE MAY NOT BE FELT FOR DAYS;

    2) MEDICAL SPECIALISTS MAY TAKE LIENS, MEANING THEY WILL GET PAID WHEN YOUR CLAIM IS SETTLED;

    3) IF THE INSURANCE COMPANY SEES A LONG (OVER A WEEK) DELAY FOR TREATMENT OFTEN THEY WILL PRESUME YOU ARE NOT INJURED;

    4) DO NOT TALK TO THE ADJUSTER, FOR THE OTHER PARTY IT IS HIS JOB TO TAKE A STATEMENT INDICATING NO INJURY;

    5) TAKE PHOTOS OF YOUR CAR AND OTHERS INVOVLVED IN THE ACCIDENT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AND THE ACCIDENT SCENE AT THE SAME TIME OF DAY HOPEFULLY ON THE SAME DAY;

    6) GET THE INFORMATION ON THE OTHER DRIVERS;

    7) IF POSSIBLE MAKE SURE THE POLICE COME OUT AND MAKE A REPORT;

    8) CONSULT OR HIRE AN ATTORNEY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE TO GATHER AND PRESERVE AS MUCH EVIDENCE AS POSSIBLE

    9) People in situations similar to yours usually want to know two things, what is a fair settlement, and how long will this take? All the previous answers instruct you to hire an attorney so that you will maybe hire them. What is best for you? Should you hire an attorney or do it yourself? You don't want to have any regrets or feel like you were cheated. Most insurance companies are ruthless. Don't take it personal, it is just business to them. The less they pay you the more they keep for their shareholders. Don't let them fool you. Don't leave anything on the table. There are a lot categories to consider for your loss. For example, you should receive compensation for Loss of Earning, Earnings Capacity, or damage to ability to earn money in the future. Reasonable and necessary medical, hospital, and other expenses, past and future. Essential Services, the reasonable and necessary value of the essential services in and around home that had to be provided. Mileage, right to mileage for attending each medical appointment for care, treatment, evaluations, consultations, physical therapy, medical management, and obtaining prescriptions and other medications and medical devices.

    You also should receive NON-ECONOMIC damages which are:
    1. Physical and Mental Pain and Suffering, as supported by medical records.
    2. Inconvenience.
    3. Emotional Stress/Distress.
    4. Impairment of the Quality of Life/Loss of Enjoyment of Life.
    5. Temporary Physical Impairment.
    6. Permanent Physical Impairment.
    7. Chronic Pain.

    If you feel that you can adequately address all these categories, and convince the insurance company, then you could do it yourself. If you don't want to do all of that a competent PI attorney knows how to organize the information and submit it to the insurance company. This time next year, or in five years, ten years, you don't want to look back and wish you had done things differently with or without an attorney. Best of luck!

    If you like my post, please mark it as “best” or “helpful”.

    My name is Stephen R. Cohen and have practiced since 1974. I practice in Los Angeles and Orange County, CA.... more
  3. John David Laurie

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . They are paying for these losses as your friend paid for that type of coverage. After the insurance company pays out the insurance carrier will go after the person who caused the accident.

  4. Robert Bruce Kopelson

    Contributor Level 20

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Insurance is a contract. The ins co has to pay collision and med pay irrespective of fault. They can subrogate (seek to collect from the responsible person), for the collision and property damage they have paid. They cannot subrogate for med pay. If they pay to settle the uninsured motorist injury claim, they can chase the other side for reimbursement for that amount too. If they pay med pay, they get that credited against the value of your uninsured motorist injury claim.

  5. Manuel Alzamora Juarez

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . UM/UIM insurance protects you and not the other party. It happens when the at fault party is uninsured or under insured. The premium that you pay finally pays off when you have an accident in either of those situations. It is the best thing you can have to protect yourself and family. Best of luck.

    http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/94709-ca-manuel-j...

    http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/what-to-do...

    http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/accidente-...

    This answer is provided by California Accident Attorney Manuel A. Juarez, Esq., 510-206-4492. Abogado de... more
  6. Peter Marion Steinberg

    Pro

    Contributor Level 7

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The insurance shoulders the cost because your friend has been paying for this Uninsured motorist coverage. Your friend is very wise to have obtained this type of coverage. We recommend Uninsured/Under-insured Motorist Coverage to all of our clients, friends and family. It costs very little to add it to your policy and it comes in handy in a situation like this. The insurance company will ultimately go after the person who caused the accident.

  7. Scott Michael Leavitt

    Contributor Level 6

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The insurance company is being paid to cover accidents involving uninsured motorists. The insurance company has a fiduciary duty to your friend and a contractual obligation to pay covered claims. The reason that they are willing to promptly pay for medical expenses and property damages is that if they fail to do so, your friend can sue them for bad faith. Be sure to remind your friend that he is entitled to recover for general damages (pain and suffering) from his insurance company as well.

    As the other lawyers have pointed out, the insurance company can go after the uninsured motorist if they believe it to be worthwhile.

    Your friend should consult a lawyer before accepting any final payments for any injuries because he is entitled to more than the medical bills. While the insurance company has an obligation to treat your friend fairly, they will almost certainly lowball him in negotiations.

    Good luck to your friend.

    This is not intended as legal advice and should not be construed as such. No attorney-client relationship exists... more
  8. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Insurance company does it because there is a contract, not because they are nice and generous...

  9. Arthur Richard Liberty

    Contributor Level 3

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The insurance carrier received a premium as its incentive. Your friend purchased coverage from his insurance carrier to cover his collision damage (repair of his car) and medical payments (reimbursement up to a limit for medical expenses). Having been paid, the insurance company can seek to recover its expenses from the uninsured driver directly to try to offset its losses. Your friend should also make a claim under his uninsured motorist coverage which came with his California insurance policy unless he waived it in writing when purchased the policy. It will cover his lost earnings, non-medical expenses as well as his pain and suffering. If the damage is significant (over $2,500) and the injuries require extensive medical care (over $3,000), he probably should retain a skilled attorney who can help him recover more, even after fees, than your friend would on his own.

    It is always best to consult a skilled attorney; one who not only has the answers but who knows the questions that... more

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