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Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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my wife crashed into a van and victim has retained an attorney

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my wife crashed into a van and victim has retained an attorney to present an injury claim. the aTTORNEY has requested the bodily injury limits of our insurance. Geico requires permission to do it from us. what should we do?

William B. Esq. :

Dear Customer, thank you for using our service. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I would like to assist you today.

William B. Esq. :

I am sorry to learn of this incident, I do hope that your wife is okay. Has your insurance provided you with legal counsel in this matter?

Customer:

no

William B. Esq. :

Your insurance limits are not privileged, and the other side will be able to get them from you in civil discovery if they file a claim against you.

William B. Esq. :

Has a complaint been filed against your wife?

Customer:

no

William B. Esq. :

Okay, you are not required to provide this information to them at this time.

Customer:

the insurance gives a choice

William B. Esq. :

Your insurance company should be more proactive in defending this matter as they should be the ones that are offering you a defense (hiring an attorney to represent you), and indemnity (paying any judgment or settlement).

Customer:

why will their attorney seek this info?

William B. Esq. :

The attorney is probing to see how much they want to claim for fees or damages. (I am guessing - this is fairly common for litigation tactics, it is easier to get money from a carrier than from the insured (you and your wife)).

William B. Esq. :

You will want to review your insurance policy carefully and see what you are entitled to in the event of an accident, (again the "defense" and "indemnity") and ask the insurance company what they plan to provide you with in the matter. It is generally in the insurance company's best interest to be more proactive in assisting their insureds in the event of a loss.

Customer:

will it help to see the injury claim?

Customer:

to make a decision?

William B. Esq. :

I cannot review your specific documents (we are not allowed to give specific legal advice through the site - we cannot practice law in this forum), but the injury claim should be presented to your carrier, and the carrier should be able to make a decision as to whether or not it is going to honor the terms of its policy now. If it does not, you will need to know immediately so that you can take appropriate action to preserve your position, if it is going to honor its policy, they are the ones that are ultimately going to pay, and they should be providing you counsel to give you this kind of specific advice on whether it is worthwhile to disclose this information at this point.

Customer:

maybe I got junk insurance if they do not act proactively

William B. Esq. :

I would start by checking the terms of your policy. Specifically looking for the insurance company's duties and obligations in the event of a claim. If they are failing to act more proactively in defending this matter earlier on it will hurt them (they are the ones that will pay) as opposed to you. But if you are having communications problems or lack of support at this time you may want to start working with either your agent (as opposed to your current adjuster), or the adjuster's supervisor or manager, to get more definitive answers and assistance.

Customer:

thanks

Customer:

will hiring a lawyer help?

William B. Esq. :

You are welcome. Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns this evening. If you do not get more reasonable assistance from your carrier, you may want to start drafting "confirmation letters" to the insurance company for your telephone calls, and keeping as much of your communications in writing as possible. This may be necessary later.

Customer:

ok

William B. Esq. :

At this point, if you do not yet have a lawsuit against you, it may be premature to get your own attorney (I would answer differently if there was not a good chance for insurance coverage), but if you do not get insurance counsel quickly, yes, a civil litigation attorney may be a wise investment.

William B. Esq. :

If you do end up being served with a lawsuit, you will want to respond to it, even if your insurance company does not act.

William B. Esq. :

If you do decide to retain counsel, I can give you a couple of sites that will be helpful in locating a local attorney. You can find attorneys on your State Bar Association’s website: (http://www.wsba.org/resources-and-services/find-legal-help); Martindale Hubble: (http://www.martindale.com/); or, on AVVO: (http://www.avvo.com/find-a-lawyer).


 


To keep costs down, I recommend finding an attorney that is working in a small firm or as a solo practitioner. A newer attorney usually charges slightly less than a more experienced attorney, while the more experienced attorneys are usually a little more efficient. In the end, you need to find an attorney that you feel comfortable with, and it is okay to speak with more than one before retaining one.


 

William B. Esq. :

I hope the above is helpful, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to let me know and I will follow up quickly.


Thank you for using our service, please do not forget to rate my answer when you are satisfied.

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