The adjusters are trained not to pay for bills without getting a release because the insurance company is afraid it will wind up paying for treatment unrelated to the accident and it will be stuck.
I talked about this in an earlier blog I posted.
There are some reasons why this policy makes sense. Often, prior injuries are a factor in medical treatment, and insurance companies are reluctant to pay for treatment that stems primarily from a prior injury.
Additionally, insurers are afraid of encouraging overtreatment – they don’t want to get stuck for large physical therapy or chiropractic bills. And they think if they don’t pay for it, it won’t happen.
I respect these reasons, but I think that often nonpayment is a dumb decision. When there is a lot of treatment immediately after an accident, and visible physical injuries – stitches, broken bones, objectively indicated injuries that could not have been caused by anything but the accident – and clear liability, the insurance company should step up and pay what it owes.
Doing this would reduce a lot of pain – physical and mental. People would not get as mad at insurance companies. Paying obvious bills probably would reduce the number of lawsuits, and possibly even attorney fees; if the medical bills are paid, there is less to fight over.
I even had one senior insurance company adjuster tell me that he thought this would be a good policy.
But no one I know is doing it, except on a very limited basis.
If you have this question, you should call me. I am a Cincinnati injury attorney.
I’d love to talk with you about this. Other lawyers refer their clients to me. And if you decide you‘d rather hire someone else, that’s OK. My phone is 513-621-4775.
Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed. All discussions are limited to Ohio law unless otherwise indicated. And past performance cannot be used to predict future results.