Toccoa, GA asked in Car Accidents and Personal Injury for Georgia

Q: Personal injury claim settlement question. On the injury portion of my claim, insurer doesn't want to pay me one amount.

The at fault drivers insurance company , State Farm says they can't pay me one lump sum to settle my injury claim. They want to pay me an amount for pain and suffering and they want to pay my medical bills directly instead of paying me and letting me pay my medical bills out of the settlement money. A friend of mine settled an injury case years ago with Farm Bureau and he said they paid him one lump sum that included pain and suffering and the cost of his medical bills and he turned around and paid the bills out of his settlement money. Well, State farm is telling me they can't do it that way with me and they have to pay my medical bills directly themselves. I sent them a demand letter that included the cost of my bills plus pain and suffering all in one amount. Also, there is no medical lien on my injury claim or any lien for that matter . Do I have to accept this type of split settlement they are offering me or can I file a lawsuit and get a judgement for one lump sum paid to me?

2 Lawyer Answers
Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Alpharetta, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: If there is no lien, I have never heard of an insurance company insisting on paying the medical bills and the pain and suffering separately. In fact, one would think the insurance company would not want deal with the hassle of paying individual medical care providers. Simply issuing one check to you would seemingly be the preferred method.

You are free to file a lawsuit. My suspicion is once suit is filed and defense counsel his hired, the insurance company will back off its insistence of splitting the payments and instead will issue you one check. I think going all the way to a trial is unlikely. But if the case were to go to a trial and you won a judgment in your favor, the insurance company would have no choice but to issue one check to satisfy the judgment.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Little Neck, NY

A: It sounds like State Farm would like to exercise control over the payment to medical providers. Their practice of doing things this way COULD be over concerns that some claimants might negotiate with medical providers to reduce their bills - and if a doctor feels shortchanged, they'd pursue State Farm. That's only a general guess. You could discuss with attorneys the lawsuit you mention. However, you might not win a judgement if the court agrees with State Farm's reasons for doing things this way. As a large insurance company, their practices are reviewed by their legal department. They don't usually do things wrong - State Farm and other such companies take safeguards not to be challenged in court about their standard operating procedures. Good luck

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