I was in an auto accident and have undergone several surgeries but still need one more major surgery and physical therapy. The at fault parties insurance policy is not big enough to cover any more medical bills. Is there any other option to having the rest of the medical bills covered?
If the other party was working at the time, perhaps a corporate insurance policy applies. Perhaps the other driver or owner had other insurance policies. If neither of these avenues checks out positively, your only realistic option is to file a claim under your own Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage. This is mainly because people who have minimal insurance often have minimal non-exempt assets.
In a UIM claim, you would have up to the difference between your limits and his limits.
For example, let's say you had $100K/300K coverage and the other driver only had $20K/40K. After collecting his $20K, you would have up to 80K available from your carrier.
What I would suggest you do, before handling this by yourself anymore, is to get a lawyer. Lawyers are good at sniffing out insurance policies that do not appear to exist. We know how to locate them, how to go about making them pay, and negotiate medical bills downward substantially.
Most significantly, if you have bills exceeding the state minimal limits of $20K, you have a serious injury and should have a lawyer representing you regardless. You have had surgery, so that alone is serious enough to suggest you should obtain a lawyer now before it is too late.
Many of us would be happy to assist you. Nearly all of us who handle injury cases in Illinois meet with clients without obligation and charge fees that are contingent upon recovery.
Stephen L. Hoffman
Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
Have your attorney investigate the uninsured motorist coverage which may be available to you. if you have private insurance or Medicare or Medicaid, this is another source of payment on your bills.
You should obtain needed medical care and treatment immediately and follow the doctor's advice. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to any medical records. Photograph the injuries and the damage done to any property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com dealing with many of the issues you are now facing. The Guides can be accessed through my profile page on Avvo.com.
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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.
You have a number of options. The first and most obvious option is that you need to make certain all medical care has been submitted to all available insurance including private group health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, and public aid. That alone, will dramatically reduce the amount that you owe. Reducing the amount that you owe dramatically increases the amount available for you to receive. As others have pointed out, there may be commercial insurance if the other driver was driving a company vehicle.
The only way to be positive that you will have enough insurance to cover very serious injuries is to maintain health insurance and high limit automobile insurance. If the limits of your insurance are $300,000 but the at fault driver only had a $20,000 policy, you can make an under insurance claim against your own policy for $280,000 if you're injuries merit that recovery. As Mr. Hoffman points out, any of us would be more than happy to explain your options in greater detail, in our offices or on the telephone. Good luck.
Candiano Law Office
Charles J. Candiano
53 West Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 465-2914 telephone
(312) 624--8184 fax
“You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”– John Wooden
Hopefully you are represented by an experienced personal injury attorney who can explain your options to you. There should be a policy-limit demand made and a claim filed with your own underinsured motorist coverage. Also, options require an examination of whether the bills are paid by health insurance, auto policy med pay or are simply medical provider and physicianns liens that have been perfected. If you don't have an experienced injury lawyer, get one now. Most of us provide free consultations. www.galivanlaw.net
If you suffer a personal injury as the result of the actions or negligence of another, you may seek financial compensation for physical or emotional damages.
There are many types of personal injuries for which financial damages can be awarded, including physical, emotional, and psychological injuries.
Written by attorney Ronald E. Sholes
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