5 Things to Know About Insurance in Auto Accident, Slip and Fall, and Personal Injury Cases
In auto cases, your insurance company (regardless of fault) has to cover at least the first $4,500.00 of medical expenses. In slip and fall cases the store may have $1,000-$5,000 of no-fault insurance available to cover medical expenses, but they will often not offer this amount until an attorney gets involved.
After the no-fault insurance is used up, your own health insurance will usually need to be used from that point until an eventual recovery is made against the insurance of the person or company at fault. The person or company at fault will usually not be willing to pay your medical expenses in pieces. They will usually only agree to make one lump-sum payment to conclude the entire claim at the very end. For those without health insurance this can create quite a difficult situation.
Your health insurer will often play a game saying that they are not liable for your medical bills because someone else is liable. This is false and done solely for the purpose of postponing the payment of your bills (“hoping” someone else will pay it for them.) Until a recovery is made against someone else there is no guarantee of eventual payment. The only thing that is guaranteed is your health insurance contract that you have been paying monthly on. A quick kick in their pants with demand for payment usually gets the bills paid. This is a sorry, but true, state of affairs.
In Kansas, the other person or company is only liable if they are at least 51% at fault. If they can successfully argue that each of you are 50% at fault then there is no recovery in Kansas (unlike Missouri). A good lawyer can make all the difference here.
Most insurance companies (in our opinion) know that a certain fair percentage of people will simply never hire a lawyer no matter what, and based on that fact they will not make any kind of reasonable offer to settle the case until a lawyer is retained. Ideally insurance companies would value their claims solely on the merits, but they are a business and they take full advantage of anyone’s willingness to take pennies instead of dollars in payment.