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  1. #1
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    Mar 2016
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    Default What to Do if You Are Sued Beyond Liability Insurance Policy Limits

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

    Hey everybody, I wanted to follow up on this thread I posted back in May, but it has been locked, http://www.expertlaw.com/forums/showthread.php?t=196843

    There hasn't been much progress in the case, but a settlement hearing and jury trial date was set for late 2017, and I still haven't been released from the case. I have a few concerns bugging me that I hope someone can help with.

    I am concerned about my insurance companies ability to retroactively drop my policy. Since I was working at the time of my accident and using commercial insurance, could Allstate retroactively drop my coverage? As you can read in the other thread, they haven't said anything about it yet, or at the time of the accident. They haven't dropped my coverage or raised my rates, but I have just read about retroactive drops and am worried they could drop me, and stick me with the settlement, as well as lawyer fees. Is this legally possible? Can it happen this long after they were made aware of the accident?

    I was involved with a wage dispute lawsuit with Dominos and awarded a settlement, signing the papers the other day. By signing, I gave up my rights to sue them for anything that took place before the final judgement. Could this affect the driving accident case or are the two separate?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    16,754

    Default Re: What to Do if You Are Sued Beyond Liability Insurance Policy Limits

    Hey everybody, I wanted to follow up on this thread I posted back in May, but it has been locked, http://www.expertlaw.com/forums/showthread.php?t=196843
    Doesn't appear to be locked. I was able to open up a reply box.

    No matter. As long as you started this one, stay here. I went back and re-read the thread.

    I am concerned about my insurance companies ability to retroactively drop my policy. Since I was working at the time of my accident and using commercial insurance, could Allstate retroactively drop my coverage? As you can read in the other thread, they haven't said anything about it yet, or at the time of the accident. They haven't dropped my coverage or raised my rates, but I have just read about retroactive drops and am worried they could drop me, and stick me with the settlement, as well as lawyer fees. Is this legally possible? Can it happen this long after they were made aware of the accident?
    It was I who explained that: Insurance policies have a "concealment, misrepresentation and fraud" provision which potentially allows insurance companies to deny claims and rescind policies back to inception, leaving policyholders out in the cold for failing to disclose material changes in how they use their cars or their homes.

    However, if that were going to happen the insurance company would have invoked that provision with a reservation of rights letter and likely an examination under oath about your business use of the vehicle and would have rescinded the policy prior to settling the claim.

    If you have had a renewal since May without any increase in rates, then it's likely clear sailing ahead for you.

    I was involved with a wage dispute lawsuit with Dominos and awarded a settlement, signing the papers the other day. By signing, I gave up my rights to sue them for anything that took place before the final judgment. Could this affect the driving accident case or are the two separate?
    Depends on the exact wording of the documents, but my guess is that the auto accident has nothing to do with the wage judgment.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2016
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    10

    Default Re: What to Do if You Are Sued Beyond Liability Insurance Policy Limits

    hmmm it wouldn't let me post there, but I always have trouble posting from my phone. Anyway,

    It makes sense that they would have revoked it already, but I read somewhere about an insurance company revoking insurance after paying for repairs to the customers car, forcing them to repay. I guess that is a different situation.

    Yes I had a renewal, and got a new insurance card for the same vehicle a few months ago.

    I don't want to post the whole thing publicly, but here is the first paragraph. It goes on like this for an entire page,

    "Named Plaintiffs, their heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assigns, voluntarily release and forever discharge Released Parties of and from any actions, causes of action, suits, debts, dues, sums of money, accounts, reckonings, bonds, bills, specialties, covenants, contracts, controversies, agreements, promises, judgments, obligations, union grievances, claims, charges, complaints, appeals and demands whatsoever, in law or equity, which they may have against Released Parties as of the date of execution of this Agreement, whether known or unknown, asserted or unasserted, including, but not limited to, any alleged violation of:..."

    I am a named plaintiff, and the released parties are the franchise and franchisee, ironically my co defendants in the car accident case. I wasn't planning on suing them for anything other than the wage violations that were settled in that case.

    Thanks again Jack. If you couldn't tell, this job was the worst experience of my life. I can't wait for these cases to be finalized.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What to Do if You Are Sued Beyond Liability Insurance Policy Limits

    hmmm it wouldn't let me post there, but I always have trouble posting from my phone.
    Yeah, probably the phone thing.

    I read somewhere about an insurance company revoking insurance after paying for repairs to the customers car, forcing them to repay. I guess that is a different situation.
    Different situation, same concept. It's possible that the company discovered a "misrepresentation, concealment or fraud" after the claim was paid and took the action as soon as that happened.

    In your case, your insurance company knew what you were doing with the car as soon as you reported the claim so there was nothing to find out about the business use later on.

    It's also possible that your insurance company did not consider undisclosed business use as "material" to the underwriting of your insurance if all it would have resulted in was a different. Since you are no longer doing it, there was no need to charge you for it on renewal.

    "Named Plaintiffs, their heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assigns, voluntarily release and forever discharge Released Parties of and from any actions, causes of action, suits, debts, dues, sums of money, accounts, reckonings, bonds, bills, specialties, covenants, contracts, controversies, agreements, promises, judgments, obligations, union grievances, claims, charges, complaints, appeals and demands whatsoever, in law or equity, which they may have against Released Parties as of the date of execution of this Agreement, whether known or unknown, asserted or unasserted, including, but not limited to, any alleged violation of:..."
    A release like that is likely to be construed by a court to apply only to the award or settlement for the wage claim.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What to Do if You Are Sued Beyond Liability Insurance Policy Limits

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post
    A release like that is likely to be construed by a court to apply only to the award or settlement for the wage claim.
    Actually, no. While the entire release needs to be read to see exactly what it covers, there is a risk that it indeed compromises the automobile claim, too. The part that he did quote was very broad and unless there is some kind of limiting language elsewhere in the settlement he’s got a potentially serious problem. A settlement this broad should never have been signed while some other claim against the same party was pending; if he had a lawyer for the wage claim and the lawyer knew of the personal injury claim, the lawyer would have made sure the settlement language for the wage claim clearly excluded the personal injury claim. It is quite possible that the OP has indeed handed to the other side an agreement that can be used to win dismissal for the defendants in that other claim. If the OP has a lawyer in the personal injury claim he needs to show that lawyer this settlement ASAP. If he doesn’t have a lawyer, he should find one to consult on this. This is the kind of pitfall that I see pro se litigants fall into and is one of the reasons litigating things on your own is risky.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2016
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    Default Re: What to Do if You Are Sued Beyond Liability Insurance Policy Limits

    ok, here is the entire section,

    In addition to the releases contained in Sections 4.1(A) and (B) above, and in consideration of the payment(s) which are to be received under Section 3.3(A), Named Plaintiffs, their heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assigns, voluntarily release and forever discharge Released Parties of and from any actions, causes of action, suits, debts, dues, sums of money, accounts, reckonings, bonds, bills, specialties, covenants, contracts, controversies, agreements, promises, judgments, obligations, union grievances, claims, charges, complaints, appeals and demands whatsoever, in law or equity, which they may have against Released Parties as of the date of execution of this Agreement, whether known or unknown, asserted or unasserted, including, but not limited to, any alleged violation of: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq.; the Civil Rights Act of 1991, Pub. L. No. 102-166, Sections 1981 through 1988 of Title 42 of the United States Code, 42 U.S.C. 1981-1988; the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, 29 U.S.C. 201 et seq.; the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, 29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.; the Immigration Reform and Control Act, as amended; the Workers Adjustment Retraining Notification Act, as amended; the Family and Medical Leave Act; any other federal, state, city or local human rights, civil rights, wage-hour, wage-payment, pension, employee benefits, labor or other laws, rules, regulations and/or guidelines, constitutions or ordinances; any contract (whether oral or written, express or implied) or tort laws; any claim arising under the common law; any other claim for unpaid wages, employment discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, constructive discharge, pain and suffering, mental anguish, intentional and/or negligent infliction of emotional distress; any claim for costs, fees, or other expenses, including attorneys’ fees or any other action against the Released Parties, based upon any conduct occurring up to and including the date of Named Plaintiffs’ execution of this Agreement.

    It was explained to me this covers any suit I would have against the defendant, not anybody else. "which they may have against Released Parties as of the date of execution of this Agreement"

    Edit: I just talked to my lawyer, and he talked to his partner that handles personal injury suits. He said they don't see how this could allow Dominos out of the injury suit, but they can't guarantee it 100%.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What to Do if You Are Sued Beyond Liability Insurance Policy Limits

    We should be looking at the entire release all at once, from the top edge of the paper to the bottom edge of the paper.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: What to Do if You Are Sued Beyond Liability Insurance Policy Limits

    That is 40 pages long, Im not going to post it here. The rest deals with the financial agreement, how the money is going to be divided, etc. Im not a lawyer, but I dont see how anything else in the document could possibly be tied to the injury suit. The section I posted are the only terms of release I had to agree to.

    This was a class action suit handled by a large firm. They have been honest with me every step of the way so I trust them when they say it is unlikely that this is a ticket for Dominos to get out of the other suit.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What to Do if You Are Sued Beyond Liability Insurance Policy Limits

    Quote Quoting QuanHenry
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    I just talked to my lawyer, and he talked to his partner that handles personal injury suits. He said they don't see how this could allow Dominos out of the injury suit, but they can't guarantee it 100%.
    you talked to your lawyer on a Sunday afternoon, that is also a holiday weekend? Wow. You have one hard working attorney there.

    You cannot do anything that would release dominoes from the suit. At most you could indemnify dominoes. That would mean you would pay whatever judgment is entered against them.


    I haven't read what you posted thoroughly but generally speaking, if you sign a release presented from another party (Dominoes in this case), it precludes you from suing them. From what I see the release prohibits any claim for any reason you may have against Dominoes.

    Quote Quoting QuanHenry
    View Post
    That is 40 pages long, Im not going to post it here. The rest deals with the financial agreement, how the money is going to be divided, etc. Im not a lawyer, but I dont see how anything else in the document could possibly be tied to the injury suit. The section I posted are the only terms of release I had to agree to.

    This was a class action suit handled by a large firm. They have been honest with me every step of the way so I trust them when they say it is unlikely that this is a ticket for Dominos to get out of the other suit.
    then what does it have to do with you being sued by some third party?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What to Do if You Are Sued Beyond Liability Insurance Policy Limits

    Quote Quoting jk
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    then what does it have to do with you being sued by some third party?
    Thats pretty much what I was thinking, but I have no experience with this. I dont read language like what I posted every day. I just don't want Dominos to be able to say something like "we are not affiliated with (QuanHenry) in anyway and should be removed from the suit".

    Yeah I was surprised he returned my call. I sent him an email and he called me in 30 minutes. Its really a great law firm.

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