If you suffer serious injuries in an auto accident which was the fault of another driver, that driver’s insurance company may offer you the policy limit, even if you don’t have an attorney representing you.
SHOULD YOU CONSULT AN ATTORNEY BEFORE SETTLING FOR THE OTHER DRIVER’S POLICY LIMIT?
Yes, you should consult with a personal injury attorney before settling for the other driver’s policy limit.
You should not take the adjuster’s word about the amount of the policy limit.
Before recommending that you accept the policy limit, an experienced personal injury attorney will do four things:
- Your attorney will demand a copy of the other driver’s insurance declarations page that was in effect on the date of the accident. It will state the amount of the other driver’s liability policy limit. The amount stated needs to match the amount being represented to you by the adjuster.
- Your attorney will also require the other driver sign a written statement under penalty of perjury which states that at the time of the accident, the driver was not driving the vehicle in the course and scope of employment and had no other insurance which may apply to the accident.
- Your attorney will discuss with you the option of hiring an investigator to conduct an asset check on the other driver. It is possible that an asset check will turn up property and assets well in excess of the policy limit, in which case your attorney may recommend against accepting the policy limit offer. Instead, your attorney may recommend that you only accept the insurance policy limit if the other driver kicks in some of his/her own money to increase the settlement. All of this depends upon your injuries and future medicals.
- Your attorney needs to make sure there are no other potentially at-fault parties to go after. This needs to be done before you sign the release because language in the release will typically state that you are releasing everyone, which would preclude you from later going after any other responsible party.
You should always consult with an attorney before signing ANY settlement release. Your attorney will protect your interests and make sure there’s no more money “on the table” to be had before you sign the release.
If you have suffered serious injuries in a car, truck, bicycle or any accident anywhere throughout the North Bay, call Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC at 707-571-8600 OR 415-492-4507.
We have been representing serious injury auto accident victims for 25 years and we know what it takes to WIN!