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Can I sue a car insurance company for falsely awarding bodily injury money and reporting it on my record?

Orlando, FL |

I was in a rolling less the 1mph accident a few months ago. Turns out my car insurance company never contacted me regarding the claim and I didn't find out that there was a false payout on my behalf from progressive for bodily injury to the other lady until a week ago. My record now shows they paid out bodily injury to a women with a pre-existing condition. They told me they paid this out under the hypothetical idea of she "might" sue with no notice to me the policy holder of there even being bodily injury reported. Can they even do that? And how do I get it off my record if it's not right?

Progressive is also telling me now that even if it is incorrect they cannot do anything to change it because they have paid out to money already.

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Attorney answers 5

Posted

Yes they can settle without your consent. It is very unusual for an insurance company to pay out on a claim that appears totally baseless, so they must have felt it was justified for some reason. People still get hurt in low-speed accidents, so that alone is not a reason to deny a claim.

Asker

Posted

Please see comment above for further information. She had pre-existing arthritis and was not injured in the accident. That's what I was told by the person handling the claim.

Posted

Yes. Read your policy. I believe it says the insurance company can settle a claim without your consent. They apparently determined it was more cost effective to pay a small sum to resolve the claim than to incur the expense and risk of defending the claim. Very few policies require the consent of the insured. Medical malpractice insurance for doctors typically require the extent of the insured. There may be others but I am unfamiliar with any auto policy that requires consent. You bought insurance to protect your personal assets from auto claims against you. THe insurance company provided you with that protection.

If you feel this is the "best" answer or is "helpful," please indicate. Since I am limited to the information you provide, I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the answer. You should seek the advise of an attorney who can explore all aspects of your question. This communication does not form an attorney client relationship.

Asker

Posted

Please see comment above for further information. She had pre-existing arthritis and was not injured in the accident. That's what I was told by the person handling the claim.

Philip Anthony Fabiano

Philip Anthony Fabiano

Posted

I'm sure the claim she did present or would have presented in a lawsuit was not that she was perfectly healthy and she had the body of an 18 year old. She would have claimed an exacerbation of a pre-existing condition. That's a standard allegation in every one of my complaints. That does not mean she is a fraud. She would need medical support for the claim that her condition was made worse by the "injury" she claims you caused. Look, many lawyers do not want a case if the client has some pre-existing injury. I use it to my advantage. Twelve people on a jury listen to what happened and say "how could such a minor collision cause this or any injury/" I need to explain this--and I think the explanation is clear, my client was fragile, because of her pre-existing injury she was more susceptible to further injury even from the more minor of collisions. A jury would not be awarding damages on what problems she had before the wreck but on what additional injury the collision caused. THere is a concept in the law that you take your victim as you find her. Just because you have an injury doesn't mean someone can hurt your more. If that was the standard no one would have a claim. Most folks over say 22, if you took a back x-ray would show degenerative changes. The insurance company doctors always have professional medical witnesses, ready, willing and able to say a person was not hurt in a collision, if they were hurt they are better and if they are not better, the cause is something else. I do not think there was any fraud involved. If there was your insurance company would have litigated the case. YOur insurance company who apparently believes there was no injury knew that they (your insurance company) could hire a doctor who would say she was not hurt even if she was--and this would also not be fraud--just despicable. Its not that you can't prove a back injury one way or another is really comes down to opinion.

Posted

The insurance company can decide to settle a case without your consent. While it may seem unfair, the insurance company acted in their best interests as well. At the very least, you will almost certainly not be open to personally being sued based on the accident.

Any answer given is for general reference and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. For a more detailed answer based on the facts of your case, contact Greater Tampa Law, P.L. at (813) 444-2244 for a consultation. www.greatertampalaw.com

Asker

Posted

Here's my biggest problem though the person in charge of the claim called me in feb or march and told me that her bodily injury claim fell through because she had pre-existing arthritis and the injury did not come from the accident. Today they said it was because there was bodily injury. Then changed it to "they were protecting me" from a hypothetical lawsuit... Then finally finished with they just wanted to close the case and get rid of her so they offered up money to get her to sign off on it. Now which reason is the real answer I have no idea but all three came from the same guy who handled the claim.

Asker

Posted

Based on the fact that they really have no idea what the case is I feel like they did this purposely to get more money out of me monthly because my premium went up obviously. Why would have call and say it fell through only for it to end up on my record?

Brett Jacob Szematowicz

Brett Jacob Szematowicz

Posted

In my experience with insurance companies, they don't settle claims so they can get more money out of your premium. Let's assume they paid out the person involved in the accident $10,000. It would take a much larger amount of time for the few extra dollars that are increased on your premium to equal the $10,000. It would have saved everybody money if there was no payout. If the case were to go to litigation, however, the costs could have been significantly higher.

Posted

They can settle without your consent

Posted

The insurance company can settle a claim without your consent. They must have determined it was more cost effective to pay to resolve the claim than to incur the expense and risk in defending the claim against you.

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