A friend of mine, wanting to save money, and believing he could negotiate with anyone, tried to settle his own auto accident case with the other person’s insurance company. Fred was rear-ended, went to the hospital and then because of continuing back pain, went to a chiropractor. The other person’s insurance company called him and told him they would pay his medical bills and give him $2,500.00. He agreed. About two months after he finished his treatment with the chiropractor, he got a bill from the chiropractor for over $5,000.00. He ignored it, thinking the insurance company was going to pay it. Turns out, the insurance company only paid his hospital emergency room bill, and that was it. The insurance agreement included that Fred sign a document, called a Release, and it didn’t say anything about paying his bills. So, now Fred is in collections and he is being sued by the chiropractor. He recently got engaged and they bought a house, and he has no money to pay the chiropractor’s bill, much less the interest, court costs and attorney’s fees in the lawsuit against him. Further, to make matters worse, when I looked at his case, it appeared that the value of his case was probably somewhere between $10,000.00 to $15,000.00, so even after a lawyer’s 1/3 fee, he would have been far better off using a lawyer. He didn’t do himself any favors and he didn’t save any money. This is unfortunately a familiar scenario in car accident cases. Insurance companies try to settle quickly with the victims and they truly screw people.
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