South San Francisco, CA asked in Car Accidents, Insurance Bad Faith and Personal Injury for California

Q: Why my car insurance won’t pay the rest of my hospital bill after accident?

I was in a accident, the other driver was found 100% at fault. My hospital bill was $52,000. I was able to negotiate with the hospital to take off $14,000 leaving me with $37,000. The person Who hit me only had a bodily injury of $15,000. I have under insured bodily injury of $25,000 with AAA. My insurance is telling me since I accepted the $15,000 from GEICO and something to do with the State of California my insurance is only going to cover $10,000. Leaving me with $12,000 to may on my own that I don’t have. I don’t understand why they won’t give me that $25,000 that my limit is set at.

3 Lawyer Answers
John Karas
John Karas
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Temecula, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I suggest that you consult with an attorney or law firm that specialize in Insurance Bad Faith in your area.

Be aware that they may or may not take on your case against your insurer on a contingency fee basis because of the relatively modest UIM policy limits but if the insurer refuses to back down and pay the full policy limits, you may have a case worth hundred of thousands of dollars or even millions in damages for their bad faith breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing implied in every insurance policy.

Brett Christopher Drouet
PREMIUM
Brett Christopher Drouet
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Generally, when you have UIM (under insurance coverage) for your policy, it will cover losses up to the total amount of your policy limits, which you were unable to recover from the under insured defendant. In other words, for example, if you have $25,000 UIM coverage and you recovered $15,000 policy limits from the under insured defendant's insurance, the remaining UIM coverage would be $10,000. You should consultant a lawyer to discuss the specifics of your case and your rights.

I note that you state you had a $52,000 hospital bill, which you negotiated a $14,000 reduction, which leaves you with a potential outstanding amount given the available $25,000 insurance coverage. You haven't provided information whether these medical charges were for hospital emergency treatment and/or whether you had no health insurance. You may have rights to get a further reduction of your hospital bill.

I strongly recommend you consult an experienced attorney to evaluate and provide you with a consultation regarding your legal rights and options. If you would like to discuss this matter, please contact me for a free consultation.

Patrick William Steinfeld
Patrick William Steinfeld
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Coronado, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: This is NOT bad faith. You have $25,000 UIM. The adverse driver has $15,000. So they are underinsured for the difference of $10,000. If they had $25,000... then they would not be underinsured in relation to your UIM coverage. You are only entitled to the difference. If they were uninsured... you would be entitled to the limits of you UM coverage.

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