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Does payment for at fault insured medical bills affect my settlement amount?

Q: Car wreck 50000/100000/50000 of coverage. Does payment for at fault insured medical bills effect my settlement amount? Insured was passenger in her own car. Driver and insured passenger both received tickets. I was not at fault. I am trying to settle my injury claim and her Insurance company is telling me that the amount they can settle with me depends on the amount of her medical bills. Is this true? If so do I have the right to know how much her medical bills are? I am only asking for my medical bills and lost wages. I have not mentioned pain and suffering to them yet. They have been dragging this out and I now only have 18 days to settle before 2 years is up.

A: First of all, it would be a good idea for you to hire a personal injury attorney in your local area. No attorney wants to have a client walk in at the last minute and have to run to the courthouse to file suit the day or two before the statute of limitations expires. If the coverage is $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident, and there were only two people injured in the accident, then the amount of the other claimant’s medical bills don’t affect the amount of the claim you can make against the adverse driver’s insurance. And, if the value of your claim does exceed the adverse policy limits of $50,000, then you should consider making a claim for under-insured motorists benefits—that’s why you pay the insurance premiums, so the insurance coverage will be there when you need it. Good luck to you, and I would call an attorney right away.

Questions and answers taken from my Avvo profile.

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Ronald F. Wittmeyer, Jr. practices plaintiffs' personal injury law at his office in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

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