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  1. #1
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    Sep 2018
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    Default Who to File Suit Against After 3rd Party Insurer Denies Claim

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

    I have been back and forth several times with the at-fault driver's insurance company who denied my claim and they won't budge. I have enough evidence with photographs to prove the collision was the other driver's fault, but from all accounts the adjuster hasn't even looked at what I've sent. I cannot afford a lawyer so I have no other choice than to represent myself. I was told by a friend of a friend, that is a paralegal, to file suit against the at-fault driver and not her insurance company (that denied my claim). Is that true? If it is true, will I have to worry about her insurance company sending high powered lawyers to defend her? This same paralegal said that it's against the law for the at-fault driver's insurance company to send in lawyers, and that if I suspect they have when I get to court, i should ask for a copy of a signed agreement or receipt showing that the lawyers were retained and paid for by the at fault driver and not the insurance company. Sounds kinda sketchy to me so I thought I would double check. I have plenty more questions but I'll stop here for now. Thanks for ANY help and advice.

  2. #2
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    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Who to File Suit Against After 3rd Party Insurer Denies Claim

    If you cannot settle a claim with the at-fault driver's insurance, you sue the at-fault driver.

    The insurance company did not cause the accident. It's not a proper party to your case.

    Part of an insurance company's job is to provide a defense to its insured clients when they are sued. Texas allows lawyers in small claims court. I don't know why your friend imagines that insurance companies can't pay for defense lawyers.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    455

    Default Re: Who to File Suit Against After 3rd Party Insurer Denies Claim

    Quote Quoting deidrebtx
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    I cannot afford a lawyer so I have no other choice than to represent myself.
    Lawyers who litigate car accident cases typically do so on contingency, which means you don't pay up front and the lawyer gets paid from any recovery. Have you at least called an attorney or two about this? Were you injured in the accident, or is this just a property damage case? Did you not have your own insurance to cover getting your car repaired?

    Quote Quoting deidrebtx
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    I was told by a friend of a friend, that is a paralegal, to file suit against the at-fault driver and not her insurance company (that denied my claim). Is that true?
    Yes. You have no claim against the insurer. Your claim is against the other driver, and the other driver's insurer's obligation is to defend and indemnify her.

    Quote Quoting deidrebtx
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    If it is true, will I have to worry about her insurance company sending high powered lawyers to defend her?
    Whether you worry or not is entirely up to you. The insurer is obligated by law to retain counsel to defend its insured. While the term "high powered" is vague, insurance defense lawyers are not typically considered to be "high powered."

    Quote Quoting deidrebtx
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    This same paralegal said that it's against the law for the at-fault driver's insurance company to send in lawyers
    That doesn't make any sense. In some states, attorneys are not permitted in small claims court, so if you sue in small claims court, the insurer would not be able to have an attorney represent the other driver but could hire an attorney to contact you to try and negotiate a settlement and to coach the insured. I don't know if lawyers are permitted in small claims court in Texas. I also don't know if a case can be "removed" from Texas small claims court to "regular" court where attorneys are permitted.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
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    2

    Default Re: Who to File Suit Against After 3rd Party Insurer Denies Claim

    Because he's an idiot. LOL A lot of the information he's fed me is prob BS. Thank you for clearing that up. Now I will draft my letter of intent to sue. I will be asking questions throughout. The whole idea of going it alone is terrifying but I have no choice. Thanks again for your help.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    16,048

    Default Re: Who to File Suit Against After 3rd Party Insurer Denies Claim

    Quote Quoting deidrebtx
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    Now I will draft my letter of intent to sue.
    That's fine but don't count on it changing anything. Claim reps get threatened with lawsuits every day. I lost count of how many lawsuit threats I got before I retired. Certainly many hundreds and out of 6000 claims in 7 years only 3 went to suit with one win and two settled.

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