Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    6

    Default How to Defend Against an Injury Claim from a Car Accident

    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: NY

    I rear-ended someone. I admit it, it was my fault and I firmly believe the other party is entitled to compensation for the approximately $400 worth of damage to his rear bumper.

    My insurance company told me that he has retained an attorney. They said don't worry about it, they will handle everything. Here's the thing - if this guy were really hurt I would feel very bad about it and I would want him compensated for medical bills, loss of work, whatever. I own up to the fact that I hit the guy and I do not for a minute shirk that responsibility.

    However, if (as I suspect) it ends up that this guy is not hurt at all -- then I want to make sure this is valid and not some play to make a few bucks at my insurance company's expense. His insurance company told my insurance company that he said that he has "soft tissue damage". He retained an attorney less than 5 days after the accident.

    So, what should I do? Sit back, let my insurance company deal with he lawyer and finally settle for some amount? Or is there any way for me to help fight this or at least weigh in on it? My insurance agent told me that in NY it's a pretty high standard of proof that there is a real medical issue and these "soft tissue" deals typically get tossed -- I'm not sure if that's true or not. I would imagine that the attorney took the case with the assumption there was money to be made.

    Like I said I don't for a minute want to side-step my responsibility but I also do not want my insurance rates going up due to something that was not legitimate. My insurance company's motivation might not align with mine, on this point...they may want to just settle the matter to avoid prolonging it.

    I would appreciate any advice on this...thanks...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    OH10
    Posts
    17,019

    Default Re: How Can I Help Assure a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against Me (Via Insurance) is Leg

    Your liability is the deductible. Stay out of it. You are not a professional.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,646

    Default Re: How Can I Help Assure a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against Me (Via Insurance) is Leg

    So, what should I do? Sit back, let my insurance company deal with he lawyer and finally settle for some amount?
    yep, after all, that is what you pay them for.

    Or is there any way for me to help fight this or at least weigh in on it?
    Nope. Your insurance company can pay the guy even if he was at fault if they believe that is the best course of action.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: How Can I Help Assure a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against Me (Via Insurance) is Leg

    Ok thanks...but bear with me and tell me if I'm being dumb or not. Say they ask for $250k (my policy limit), and my insurance agrees to settle for $50k. Now say my rates go up and I will be out of pocket an extra $10k over the next five years. I'm making these numbers up, could be way off...but this is how I think.

    I'd rather spend the $10k on my own attorney and fight it. Do I even get that opportunity, or am I at the mercy of how my insurance company will handle it?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,646

    Default Re: How Can I Help Assure a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against Me (Via Insurance) is Leg

    Yes, you can tell your insurance company to take a hike but if you do that, should you lose, they are not going to pay the judgment against you. That will come out of your pocket.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: How Can I Help Assure a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against Me (Via Insurance) is Leg

    I was not thinking of telling my insurance company to take a hike, only that I want final 'sign off' on any settlement they might be willing to agree to, and if I want my own lawyer to review it or even take it over at that point, I'd like that option.

    Is that even possible, or once my insurance company starts handling it then they finish it with me as a spectator and no say in the matter?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
    Posts
    5,273

    Default Re: How Can I Help Assure a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against Me (Via Insurance) is Leg

    OP starts putzing with the case and he may find his insurance company telling him that he is on his own.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    16,954

    Default Re: How Can I Help Assure a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against Me (Via Insurance) is Leg

    Quote Quoting anhold
    View Post
    I was not thinking of telling my insurance company to take a hike, only that I want final 'sign off' on any settlement they might be willing to agree to, and if I want my own lawyer to review it or even take it over at that point, I'd like that option.

    Is that even possible, or once my insurance company starts handling it then they finish it with me as a spectator and no say in the matter?
    Sorry, but you have absolutely no say in how your insurance company handles this.

    It says so in your policy. Have you read it lately? It's in the first paragraph of the Liability insuring agreement and looks something like this:

    "We will pay damages for bodily injury or
    property damage for which any insured becomes
    legally responsible because of an
    auto accident. We will settle or defend, as we
    consider appropriate,
    any claim or suit asking
    for these damages."

    (Emphasis mine.)

    Now that your insurance company has notice of the claim you don't even have the option of withdrawing it.

    Since you are at fault, you WILL be surcharged and it'll be the same amount no matter how little or how much the insurance company pays.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: How Can I Help Assure a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against Me (Via Insurance) is Leg

    Quote Quoting anhold
    View Post
    Ok thanks...but bear with me and tell me if I'm being dumb or not. Say they ask for $250k (my policy limit), and my insurance agrees to settle for $50k. Now say my rates go up and I will be out of pocket an extra $10k over the next five years. I'm making these numbers up, could be way off...but this is how I think.

    I'd rather spend the $10k on my own attorney and fight it. Do I even get that opportunity, or am I at the mercy of how my insurance company will handle it?
    Your company will likely pay his doctor visit, his ER bill, his X-rays, etc. then give him $500-1000 in pain & suffering. He'll have earned that, since you did hit him. He was probably stiff the day after and for a few days. I've been rear-ended a few times and whiplash hurts.

    They'll have to cut him open to pay out $50k. And if they cut into his neck, it's going to pay out a lot more than $50k (since you have the available limits). Let your company handle everything and stay out of it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: How Can I Help Assure a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against Me (Via Insurance) is Leg

    Thanks for all responses. I know sometimes with a question like this it might sound like I'm trying to weasel out of my responsibility. Not the case at all here and if the guy was sore for a few days or missed work, I'd have not problem compensating him - heck I'd even do it personally if I had to. I feel really bad about hitting him and it was the first auto accident I've ever been in, in over 25 years of driving (other than someone tapping me accidentally in a parking lot). I feel really stupid and embarrassed about it and I still don't know for sure how it even happened.

    I'm just a little worried that within a couple of days he went out and got a lawyer. There's no way, I would put a million dollars on it, that this guy is going to need surgery. Could he sit home and not work for months, go to chiropractors, physical therapy, get a doctor to write down that he can't swing a golf club anymore or he will never be able to pick up his grandchildren again? I don't know...is that possible? Could the lawyer somehow do math to get this up to or beyond my $250K policy limit? Can they drag me into endless depositions and income/asset validation? That's the kind of situation I'm worried about.

    I will shut up now and let insurance deal with it...thanks again...

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Traffic Accidents: Possible Injury Claim After an Auto Accident
    By Rogerfl86 in forum Accidents and Injuries
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 09-16-2009, 03:05 AM
  2. Traffic Accidents: Car Accident Bodily Injury Claim
    By QueenLin in forum Accidents and Injuries
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-27-2007, 12:21 AM
  3. Traffic Accidents: Help with car accident injury claim
    By jswi in forum Accidents and Injuries
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-14-2006, 02:00 PM
  4. Traffic Accidents: Injury claim from a very minor accident
    By etryana in forum Accidents and Injuries
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-23-2005, 07:35 AM
  5. Traffic Accidents: Personal injury car accident claim
    By omahastrawberry in forum Accidents and Injuries
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-07-2005, 05:31 PM
 
 
Sponsored Links

Legal Help, Information and Resources