Legal Question in Personal Injury in Washington

car accident

I was hit by an uninsured motorist and had back surgery. I am the policy holder on my insurance. They paid the bills and then cut a check to both my husband and myself. Why is my husbands name on the check? He wasn't involved in the accident, and the car is in my name only. Can't the check be paid only to me?

Asked on 2/09/07, 4:38 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Robert Kornfeld Robert B Kornfeld, Attorney at Law, Inc., P.S.

Re: car accident

Yes I can help you. Please contact me on Monday or email me at [email protected]


You can get my toll free number off my webb site.

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Answered on 2/09/07, 8:58 pm
Sam Hochberg Sam Hochberg & Associates

Re: car accident

Insurance companies do this frequently. Not having read your insurance policy nor researched the legal issue, I can't give you a definitive answer; BUT, having said that, if it were me, I'd "just say no." Tell them to write the settlement check to you only, since your husband is not making a claim.

A spouse who was NOT in an accident CAN have a claim arising out of the claim of the OTHER spouse who was injured in a wreck, under some circumstances. Often, such a claim arises out of the injured party's portion of coverage. So, for that reason, the insurance companies often try to avoid the possibility of that "other" spouse's claim by putting their name on the check. Once they sign, they've probably waived any claim they had. It's not a very equitable practice on the insurers' part, but there y'go!

IF your insurance company continues to insist on putting spouse's name on the check, before allowing the spouse's signature, I would first inquire with Washington's regulatory agency charged with overseeing the insurance industry. It may be called the INSURANCE COMMISSSIONER'S office, as it is in OR. They should be able to answer your question right off, although a good personal injury lawyer's opinion is probably preferable.

Whatever it's called, the state REGULATORY AGENCY for insurance companies is also the one you complain to, on unfair or improper insurance company practices.

Good luck!


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Answered on 2/10/07, 3:20 am

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