On the Eve of the Statute of Limitations

Marty contact me several days before the statute of limitations expired in her case.  She said that the insurance company for the at-fault driver had taken care of all of her medical bills, but she wanted to make sure everything was properly resolved before the statute of limitations expired.

I met with Marty and her husband and they both recited conversations they had with the insurance adjuster who told them that the insurance company had taken care of Marty's medical bills. They shared that they had not contacted an attorney during the two preceding years because the insurance adjuster assured them that the bills were paid. I looked through the paperwork Marty brought, and I saw that there was a recent statement for ER medical services with an outstanding balance for the full amount of the charges.  Neither Marty nor her husband knew why the invoice should still show a balance due. After the meeting, I contacted the insurance adjuster and quickly learned that she had not paid any of Marty's bills.  She said she was "waiting on further information" from Marty, and she was not authorized to make any payments at this time. Needless to say, a lawsuit was filed later that day to stop the statute of limitations from running on Marty's claims. Had Marty waited 72 more hours, the statute of limitations would have run on her claims and she would have been left with the responsibility for a mountain of medical bills...bills which both she and her husband understood to have been already paid by the insurance company. It is very likely that the confusion was simply a matter of miscommunication between the adjuster and Marty and her husband.  Perhaps the adjuster assured them that the bills would be paid upon Marty providing the insurance company additional medical records. However, for over 18 months the insurance company had a valid release of medical records authorization signed by Marty herself yet never used it to obtain the "further information." It is important to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident.  An accident attorney will be able to work directly with the insurance companies to make sure your claim progresses as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

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