time limit to file lawsuit after auto accident?

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Latest post Wed, Jul 4 2007 11:06 AM by adjuster jack. 1 replies.
  • Tue, Jul 3 2007 10:16 PM

    Question [=?] time limit to file lawsuit after auto accident?

    Facts...friend passenger in mothers auto..hit by another driver...mother NOT at fault..other ins. company paid max. other person had(small amt.)...medical bills far more then amt.received.
    Friend filed claim on her mothers ins...and has gotten nothing but delay tactics from ins.
    They have told her max. amt. she "could" receive but has not made an offer. It will soon be two years from the "date of accident"..more then enough time to review the facts and medical costs "still outstanding"...ins. said due to my friend having muscular dystrophy they had to call in "expert"...to review case.
    ?'s....does my friend "have" to use money received to pay outstanding bills?
    ?...Most important...is there a "time frame" after which my friend "cannot" file against her mothers ins?
    ?...Could the ins. co. be delaying a settlement so that the "time frame" will expire which would mean my friend could not file a suit against her mothers ins.co?
    The amt. my friend got from the person at fault went to pay medical bills...so, unless my friend can keep the money from her mother's ins. she will in effect "end up with nothing" for her pain and suffering.
    Based upon the medical cost incurred, over $40,000 ,this should not be that difficult for a "settlement" to be determined.
    Again, my friend is very afraid that the delay is just being done on purpose...til "time" runs out and then the ins. co. will offer some insane small amount....not at all based on real costs involved and my friend will have no recourse against her mother's ins. co.
    Can the max amt my friend could recieve be limited to the "policy limits" or could she file a suit for medical costs(as per accident total amt) and then "add"an amount for "pain and suffering" above the limits of the policy?
    This entire situation is VERY unfair to my friend and she needs to receive the most she can...she can't pay off the medical bills and then have any left for her pain and suffering if she is "required" to pay off medical costs. To make matters worse....her personal ins. carrier has changed since the wreck and none of the bills were paid by the old carrier...is there a soloution to that?
    Can her mothers ins. MAKE her pay the medical bills or can she decide where the settlement money goes?
    This is very upsetting to my friend especially with her ongoing medical issues.
  • Wed, Jul 4 2007 11:06 AM In reply to

    re: time limit to file lawsuit after auto accident?

    "?'s....does my friend "have" to use money received to pay outstanding bills?"

    Your friend doesn't "have" to do anything. But there may be circumstances beyond her control that would result in her paying the outstanding bills anyway.

    That the medical providers want their money has nothing to do with anything and she is responsible for paying her bills regardless of where the money comes from.

    "?...Most important...is there a "time frame" after which my friend "cannot" file against her mothers ins?"

    Filing a lawsuit against the other driver would have had to be done within 2 years under the TX statute of limitations for injury.

    However, filing against ones own insurance company (I think) is a contractual matter and (I think) that a lawsuit against the insurance company would have to be filed within 4 years under the TX statute of limitations for contracts.

    Your friend needs to consult an attorney like right now.

    "?...Could the ins. co. be delaying a settlement so that the "time frame" will expire which would mean my friend could not file a suit against her mothers ins.co?"

    That's certainly a possibility. Your friend needs to consult an attorney like right now.

    "Can the max amt my friend could recieve be limited to the "policy limits" or could she file a suit for medical costs(as per accident total amt) and then "add"an amount for "pain and suffering" above the limits of the policy?"

    I'm guessing you are referring to Underinsured Motorist Coverage. The per person limit would be all she could get.

    But, if she had to sue for breach of contract and bad faith, and could prove bad faith, she could win additional damages for the bad faith. But that would have nothing to do with her injury. It's just a way that courts have of punishing insurance companies for bad faith. Bad faith is difficult to prove.

    Your friend needs to consult an attorney like right now.

    "her personal ins. carrier has changed since the wreck and none of the bills were paid by the old carrier...is there a soloution to that?"

    Yes.

    The carrier whose policy was in effect on the date of the accident should be covering whatever resulted from the accident. Her PIP coverage (if she has it) should go to pay bills until the limit is exhausted.

    If she's making a claim on the Underinsured Motorist Coverage then nothing gets paid in advance of a settlement.

    Your friend needs to consult an attorney like right now.

    "Can her mothers ins. MAKE her pay the medical bills or can she decide where the settlement money goes?"

    Her mother's ins company cannot MAKE her do anything. But, if the medical vendors have officially notified her insurance company that they have a lien on the claim, then the insurance company may have no choice but to pay the bills.

    An attorney may be able to negotiate a reduction in the bills with the medical providers so that your friend can get some money out of any settlement.

    Your friend needs to consult an attorney like right now.


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