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Got rear-ended by uninsured motorist, wife got back/neck pains. Insurance won't pay Pain&Suffering because we didnt buy

Fremont, CA |

medical payment coverage. I just want a small settlement for p&s. Is this right of them to refuse any settlement based on lack of med.payment coverage?

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Attorney answers 9


This doesnt make sense. If you have auto insurance and it includes uninsured motorist coverage, and you can prove you were hit by an uninsured motorist, you have a right to make a claim against your own ins co under that coverage. You dont need to have med pay coverage. You/your wife can seek damages for the medical expenses, time missed from work, and pain and suffering.

Your company may be jerking you around by telling you they will only offer to pay the bills and no pain and suffering damages. if the injuries were minimal, treatment minimal, and injuries didnt interfere much with life and normal activities, then the pain and suffering may not be worth a lot. You should get the itemized bills, the med records, etc together, and get a free consult with local atty who does injury law.



Thank you so much. I do have Uninsured Motorist Coverage. When I asked adjuster for a small/quick settlement for P&S, I got a letter from them saying they won't pay anything because I did not buy Medical Pay Coverage. She did not lose time from work, just back/neck pain a Dr. suggested MRI. I don't care to drag it out, so I asked for a small, quick settlement even a few hundred would do. What do you think?

Robert Bruce Kopelson

Robert Bruce Kopelson


I think you should not settle. It appears your wife may have a more serious injury. If they throw a few hundred your way, she will have to sign a release. If she then discovers the injury was more severe, she is out of luck. I don't know how long ago the crash occurred or other details that are relevant. I really suggest you consult with a local injury lawyer asap. As for the letter from the ins co, it doesn't make sense. Maybe they made a mistake and are saying you don't have uninsured motorist coverage. You need to look at your declarations of coverage to see what coverages you actually have been paying for.


Your description is confusion. It isn't clear what kind of coverage you have and what you don't have.

Do you have uninsured motorist coverage?

If you do, they should cover your medical bills and your pain and suffering.

If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, then you cannot get pain and suffering from your own company.

Whether you have uninsured motorist coverage can depend on many things and is not always apparent. In certain situations, an insurance company will have to give you uninsured motorist coverage for free EVEN IF YOU DID NOT PAY FOR IT! An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to help you figure this out.

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Daniel Danny Geoulla

Daniel Danny Geoulla


Here is a link to an article I wrote about the different types of insurance coverage, which can help you:


How much UM do you carry? You definitely have a UM claim with your own carrier for your wife. I tell all my clients to get the max on UM and liability coverage (meaning 500 K) as it costs very little more and protects you against all the uninsured and underinsured drivers in CA.


If you have UM coverage they and you have a good claim against another vehicle which is uninsured then pain and suffering is part of your claim. Consult with a local personal injury attorney.


The liability coverage for the person who injured your wife and you and your wife's own uninsured motorist coverage will pay for your wife's economic (lost wages, medical bills) and non-economic (pain and suffering) damages.

Med pay is a separate collateral source for medical bills regardless of fault. It would never pay for pain and suffering.

Here's a comprehensive analysis of available insurance coverages.

Answering questions does not create an attorney/client relationship. I only am your attorney if I have entered into a written contract, signed by me, wherein I expressly assent to be your attorney. Nothing I post should be construed as legal advice to be acted upon, it is merely a legal opinion.


There are two coverages that were available that would cover you here, if you had them. One is medical payments coverage as you mention, and the other is uninsured motorists coverage. If they are right that you didn't have medical payments coverage, then of course they won't be paying you under it. Make sure to check to see if you have any uninsured motorists coverage: if you do then your own insurance company is obliged to pay for the fair value of your case against the uninsured motorist, including amounts for medical car, pain and suffering, lost wages and other things. If you have this coverage it would pay for you to consult with a lawyer who can figure out what the claim is worth and fight to get it.


You may have a claim for UM benefits under your own policy. If you make a UM claim, your own carrier has the right to use all defenses that the other driver may have had against you. Many people make the mistake that they will be treated better by their own insurance company. This simply is not true. Your carrier will be allowed to assert all defenses available to the at-fault driver, and the carrier almost always does. A UM claim therefore essentially creates an adversarial relationship between you and your own insurance carrier. Thus, it may be wise to retain experienced counsel when asserting a UM claim. As can be expected, your own carrier will NOT be looking out for your interests (even though you are its own insured!). Instead, your carrier will be looking for ways to pay out as little money as possible. In the event you do not have UM coverage, you may have no other practical means of obtaining compensation for your injuries. This is why you should always carry UM coverage, preferably with limits of at least $100,000.


Med Pay only pays for medical bills related to the accident.Medical payments coverage does not pay for any pain and suffering. You need to file a claim under your uninsured motorist coverage, which hopefully you have purchased to protect Yourselves.

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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.

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


Have one of the above lawyers in your state investigate the coverage

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