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Is it ok not to reimburse my health insurance company from the settlement amount?

Santa Ana, CA |

I met with an auto accident on Jan 8, 2011. My lawyer settled the case without contacting me or letting me know. I am still taking treatment whose bills are not included in the file that was submitted to the insurance company. The case is settled for $13,700, my lawyer is forcing me to sign off the case, and offering me a very small amount from this settlement, where my out of pocket expenses are much more. The statute of limitations is upto Jan 8, 2013. Also, the lawyer says its ok to not to reimburse my health insurance company, as the settlement is for so less money, so that the lawyer gets more money as his fees. Is this really ok to not to reimburse my health insurance company?

Attorney Answers 9


  1. Maybe you should get a second opinion from another attorney. Do not sign the release until you have got the second opinion.

    Kazerouni Law Group, APC is a law firm concentrating its efforts in the area of consumer law, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692 et seq. (“FDCPA”), and California's Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, California Civil Code §§ 1788-1788.32 ("Rosenthal Act"). Our lawyers are specially trained in the Federal FDCPA, Consumer Defense, and other consumer related matters. Our goal is to protect you against unfair, deceptive and abusive debt collection practices. Creditors, professional debt collectors, and attorneys who violate the law are subject to paying damages, statutory penalties, and the consumer's attorneys fees and costs. If you feel you have been abused, deceived or treated unfairly, you may need a lawyer. We can be reached at 800-400-6808, or through one of the evaluation forms on this or at our own website at www.kazlg.com. The information provided on this website is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or as forming an attorney-client relationship. No attorney-client relationship between the reader and Abbas Kazerounian has been formed. If you are in the State of California and would be interested in a formal free consultation either visit Kazerouni Law Group, APC website at www.kazlg.com or call me toll free at 800-400-6808.


  2. Get a second opinion. As for reimbursement - almost 100% of all insurance policies say that if you obtain a settlement or judgment from a third party claim, you are obligated to reimburse your insurance company. It depends on what your insurance policy says - you need a second opinion on this issue by showing another attorney your policy. Generally though, it is not a 1:1 reimbursement, your attorney should be negotiating with your insurance company on the amount of reimbursement based on the amount of settlement, and insurance companies generally understand and work with the attorney....

    (510) 343-6219. All responses are provided for informational purposes only. Readers should not act upon such material without consulting with an attorney. HEE J. KIM is only authorized to practice law in the State of California. Attorneys at MILLER WASHINGTON & KIM, LLP are only authorized to practice law in the States of California and New York, and South Africa. This information is only intended for the residents of the State of California. Nothing transmitted by HEE J. KIM or MILLER WASHINGTON & KIM, LLP, should be construed as legal advice or the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Contacting HEE J. KIM or MILLER WASHINGTON & KIM. LLP, either by email, telephone, facsimile, any form found on this site, or by any and all other means, does not create an attorney-client relationship. Any response by HEE J. KIM or MILLER WASHINGTON & KIM, LLP, or reliance thereon, does not form an attorney-client relationship. ONLY BY ENTERING INTO A WRITTEN ATTORNEY-CLIENT AGREEMENT, SIGNED BY THE ATTORNEY, IS SUCH A RELATIONSHIP FORMED.


  3. You need to get your second opinion quickly if suit has not been filed yet, since the SOL is right around the corner based upon your post. I do warn you that it will be difficult for another attorney to really have an opinion on your case without all of the information about the accident and access to your medical records. Best of luck to you!

    I will evaluate your case for free. I can also refer you to an attorney to help you if I cannot help you. Joyce J. Sweinberg, Esquire 215-752-3732 www.jjsassoc.net Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice. It is merely intended to provide general information to aid the poster in finding answers to the problem posed. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. In most cases, it is best to contact an attorney directly to find answers to your problems.


  4. You are not required to accept the settlement. If you are still treating for the injuries, you should be very careful before settling the case. I agree with the other answers. Get a second opinion from a qualified personal injury attorney before signing the release. Make sure you are being treated by reputable doctors. If the insurance company knows the doctors are reputable, they likely will offer more in settlement. Make sure your lawsuit is filed timely if you decide not to accept the settlement offer.

    Disclaimer- The information you obtain at our web-site or through postings on such sites as”AVVO.com are not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for specific advice regarding your individual situation. Any response given here is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change.


  5. Typically you have a contract with your health insurance company requiring reimbursement when collecting from a third party. I generally like to get an agreement in writing from health insurance that they are waiving their reimbursement rights. If you stick your head in the sand and avoid them, and they later find out that you settled your case without paying them, they could potentially come after you.


  6. This is complicated. Reimbursement for bills sometimes is mandatory. A local California attorney may be able to advise you. Good luck

    Tim


  7. I would respectfully suggest that you consult with another personal injury attorney and get a 2nd opinion about your current situation with your current lawyer. Your lawyer cannot settle the claim without your agreement, despite what he says. You are not obligated to sign a release document if you are not in agreement with the amount. Ignoring your medical insurance company's lien may prove disastrous in the future. Be mindful of your statute of limitations in this instance. If you decide to change attorneys, you must be sure that suit is filed to protect the statute from running.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

    This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.


  8. Don't let a lawyer force you to sign anything.

    You are the master of your own destiny. True?

    Switch lawyers if this lawyer isn't representing you appropriately. Not all lawyers are created equal.

    Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com


  9. You should receive a second opinion from a experienced California personal injury attorney to evaluate your case. I have represented and fought for my clients' rights to compensation for over 20 years and have the experience necessary to review the most complicated of cases. I hope that I can help you with your case.

    Scott J Corwin
    (310) 207-4030

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