Why Won’t the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company Pay My Medical Bills?

Anyone who has been in a car accident is familiar with exchanging insurance information with the other driver or drivers involved in the accident. If there is a police report, the investigating officer includes the insurance information for each vehicle involved in the accident. Louisiana law requires all Louisiana residents who own a car to carry liability insurance in the event the resident negligently causes an accident resulting in injury to another person.

It would seem that if you are injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, the at-fault driver’s insurance should pay your medical bills as they are incurred. Shouldn’t it be as simple as giving the insurance company’s name to your treating doctors and having them paid directly? In reality, most of the time it doesn’t work like this at all.

While insurance companies complain about the number of personal injury attorneys, insurance companies drive injured people into the arms of personal injury attorneys by refusing to pay the medical bills for injured people promptly and in full. Often, insurance companies refuse to pay until a case is ready to settle. Further compounding the problem is that some doctors won’t take an injured person’s health insurance when a third party is responsible for the injuries. Why should an insurance company make it easier for an injured person to get medical care, when doing so can only increase the cost of resolving the claim?

The fact is that in Louisiana insurance companies do not owe a legal duty to people injured by the negligence of their insureds. They owe a duty to their insureds to handle the claim in the insured’s interest – not the injured third party’s interest.

Insurance companies may offer something to an injured third party for medical bills without an attorney, but they have little incentive to give full payment for medical bills as they are incurred. Getting a payment for pain and suffering without retaining an attorney is even less likely than full payment for medical bills.

The truth is that retaining a personal injury attorney does not make an injured person greedy. It is often a requirement for even minimal fair treatment. You have the right to legal advice to make sure you are being treated fairly. You can be sure the insurance company is taking advantage of the right to legal counsel, so you should never feel bad for doing the same thing.