Dog got injured, required Emergency Surgery on his eye, (he is now blind in left eye as a result), paid close to $5,000.00 for surgery and pet insurance reimbursed only $230.00. BBB has become involved and is offering the opportunity for an Arbitration case with or without a lawyer involved. I can provide the policy I had as well as the back-and-forth convo I had with the insurance company through the BBB site.Piece/Snippet of complaint with BBB's site: I also would like to point out that VPI provided the following: "All notations in the medical records indicate that the lens luxation was not caused by trauma but the process of aging over the last several months. This is evident by the 4-5 month history of the eye becoming foggy, indicating evidence of a slow degeneration process in the eye." and if VPI is indeed going to base this on the observation of the patient's owner (me) instead of medical fact, then please note that the policy does include the following: "Additionally, we refer you to section 2 “Definitions” of the policy:
Sorry to hear about your dog's injury and the surgery bill! Yes, you can consult with counsel to receive advice in connection with an arbitration matter. Many times, you can use the 'I need to consult with my lawyer' line to buy time if the other side is being overly pushy or trying to rush you to a decision. I'd want to get clarification from BBB on whether they mean the arbitration would be handled by a lawyer (i.e. lawyer acts as arbitrator) or the arbitration will be handled by a non-lawyer (lay-person will mediate or arbitrate the dispute). The specific terms of your insurance contract will govern whether you must submit to arbitration (or not) to challenge the adjuster's decision. Generally, you should always have the right to consult with counsel or to use an attorney to represent you -- this includes in negotiations and at every step of an arbitration (including a hearing).
This will require a lawyer to review the policy so expect to pay for a lawyer 'statutes time. You can try using the Find A Lawyer tab on Avvo.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been handling criminal defense and personal injury cases for over 18 years. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails, is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
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