I had $1000 in Medi-benefits paid by my insurer. I paid my premiums and deduc., now they want my settlement money. Is that legel in Bakersfield, CA?

UPDATED: May 14, 2009

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I had $1000 in Medi-benefits paid by my insurer. I paid my premiums and deduc., now they want my settlement money. Is that legel in Bakersfield, CA?

I was in a car accident in Bakersfield, CA. I know that subrogation laws vary, but I paid for those benefits and feel that paying twice for them is not right. They didn’t file a lein, yet I’m not sure if it’s in the fine print in my contract or not. They are simply asking me to pay them if I get a settlement. The problem: The $1000 didn’t cover all of my medical bills. And if I repay that $1000 to them, I won’t be able to pay my medical bills. I think paying my medical bills is my responsibility first. Can they sue me for the money I owe for medical bills?

Asked on May 14, 2009 under Accident Law, California


L.M., Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

For the car accident question in Bakersfield, CA: It is rare that insurance companies subrogate for medical payments, but some companies do.  Check your policy.  Of course, if your medical bills will not be fully covered by the settlement you receive, I wouldn't just turn the money over to your insurer.  I would write a letter to the company explaining the situation.  If they still insist on being repaid, I would file a complaint with the Dept. of Insurance. If you need an auto accident attorney in Bakersfield, CA, you can find on at http://www.attorneypages.com.

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