I was in a car accident. I was changing lanes, and the victim swerved around and hit the front right panel of my car, the front left panel of her car was damaged. This accident happened nearly a year ago. Today I received a letter from my insurance stating that the victim is claiming back injuries and is demanding more than what my insurance covers-over $25,00.The other driver had a preexisiting injury to her back.The other driver was an unlicensed driver. What are my options, because I definatly don't have the money to pay for this person's "injuries". filing bankruptsy will cause me to lose my job.It just seems so unfair to me. I have a license, I am allowed to be on the road. I passed the test. I have insurance.And this law-breaker gets to reap the benefits.I really have no real assets she can sue me for. I have a car I still owe $10,000 on, no savings, no real estate. I have a retirment account...can the victim take my nest egg?
State/Country relating to question: Nevada
My insurance has been handling everything
Hi and welcome to JA
First of all, in personal injury suits, having a license or not is not material unfortunately. The only issues are who was/were negligent
2. Legally, she can recover nothing if a jury finds her 51 % at fault. But ir could find her say 20% which would reduce the damages she can prove by 20%
3. I've been doing this kind of work for over 25 years......we always sue for a high amount regardless of the policy to give us bargaining room WHEN I REPRESENT A PLAINTIFF.
4. But I've also represented defendants. Here is the story. The client of the attorney who has been assigned your case by the insurance company is NOT THE ATTORNEY FOR THE COMPANY. He/she is your attorney. I know that sounds strange, but it's true. I have had situations where I'm representing the defendant where I've had to on behalf of my client tell the company to settle within the policy limits...........this even though the insurance company has hired me and is paying my legal fee. Very strange but true.
I have also played another role. There is the attorney appointed by the company as above with the defendant being his true client. I have been hired as private counsel by the defendant to MAKE SURE THE INSURANCE APPOINTED ATTORNEY HAS THE CASE SETTLED WITHIN THE POLICY LIMITS.
That's what you should do.......hire your own lawyer.
You have to consult with an attorney in your state. This is notbecause I am a NY attorney, but as you can see from the language on the sitehere, it says that no attorney-client privilege exists and that you shouldcontact a lawyer in your state for representation. In other words, even if I were a lawyer in your state , the same rule would apply.
To find an attorney, go online to Martindale.com. This is a nationwidedirectory we lawyers use ourselves to find highly qualified legal specialistsin various fields of law. These lawyers are NOT in Martindale because they paidto be included. They are there because they are rated as QUALIFIED by otherlawyers in their field of expertise and geographic area as it applies to yourkind of case. The process is this: other lawyers are asked to fill outquestionnaires giving their opinion of the quality of the work of the law firmthat ultimately appears in Martindale.The site is organized geographically and by legal specialty. Consult withtwo or three and select the one you are most comfortable with. The Martindale listing will have the names of current or past clients. Contact those clients asreferences for the firm.
Relist: Answer quality.Only about 3 sentences in his answer applied to my case. I need answers. Not room to ask more questions.He informed me that the lawyer appointed by the omapny works for me-it is that lawyers job to make the company settle within the amount covered by the policy...and then he suggested I get a second lawyer to ensure the first lawyer gets the company to settle?? Why wouldnt the company not want to settle within the policy limits? Why couldn't the first lawyer do this all on his own-if he works for me. Also, some of my questions went unanswered-can I be sued for my retirement?
BECAUSE THE COMPANY STILL WANTS TO PAY AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE!!!!!!!! Even though the insurance lawyer is yours, the insurance lawyer wants to get more business from the company..............that's the reality my friend.rvlaw41082.1416480324
That is your case EXACTLY. If you want to leave it all to the insurance company lawyer and cross your fingers, you can do that. I wouldn't If I were in your place. Take the advice. You'll appreciate it sooner or later.
I'm here to help...........not make $18!
And yes she can take your nest egg.............another reason to hire your private attorney. Think about all of this Take it in for your own sake I'm an expert at this and please remove the negative rating You want NOT to pay me? Fine Relist the question............see what you get.............but first ask the next expert to see my answers first.
What cmpany wants to pay as little as possible- My Insurance company?
If the victim is demandining more than $25,000 (the max my liability covers) isn't the insuance company already going to pay the $25,000.
Also, wouldn't it be in the insurance company's best interest to settle within the limit?
Also, how do you make sure it is settled within the limit- if the victim is demanding more.
Your company wants to pay as little as possible to save money....that's the reality
If your company doesn't think the claim is worth 25K they won't pay. Plus, even if the plaintiff at some time down the road was willing to settle for 15K, your company still won't pay if they really think the claim is worth, say, 4,000.
Again...........it is in your company's best interests from their point of view to pay the plaintiff as little as they can. For instance, if the plaintiff's attorney was willing to settle for 15K, and your company thinks it's only worth 10K, it will put pressure on the plaintiff to take less.........If they can hold out, they may force the plaintiff to take 12K. AND THEY WOULD HAVE SAVED THEMSELVES 3K. Yes. A claims adjuster handling the case in a big company is very proud to tell his supervisor he saved company 3K. There are many permutations in any one case
Here's another..........your company thinks the case is worth $500. The planttiff of course won't take that. Your company is so convinced the claim is worth next to nothing, they tell the plaintiff's attorney GO TO TRIAL. The plaintiff herself has to make the decision to take $500 or go to trial and hope the jury awards her more. Maybe your company was wrong and the jury awards $100,000. The legal mess that follows in such a case.........I could a write a book. I hope you understand these examples and that you finally realize that I know this field of law like the back of my hand.
Not all attorneys for defendants are ethical. I am. I had a case once representing a large trucking company. The insurance policy was $100K. The plaintiff died in the accident. The plaintiff's attorney ultimately said he'd accept 75K. My client was the trucking company who I was bound to protect. Even though the insurance company assigned many cases to me, I had the courage on behalf of my client the trucking company to tell the insurance company ; PAY THE 75K. If this case goes to the jury, they'll award much more. The insurance company refused. The jury awarded $350K!!!!!. Again a complicated legal mess ensued. Through more legal rules and procedures basically because there was more litigation and interest accrued after the trial, the insurance company had to pay close to $425K
If the trucking company had hired its own lawyer, there would have been him and me putting pressure on the company to settle for 75K. The trucking company's private lawyer would be there only for you with no reason to modify his position because he wanted more business or was a personal friend of "Joe" in the claims department who had drinks together every Friday night. I hope you are getting the picture of the cutthroat business that it is.
NYC Personal Injury Trial Attorney for 30+ years; Law professor; Arbitrator; Psychotherapist.
It seems you will never be satisfied. That's OK Good luck
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