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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Posts
    2

    Default Claim I Filed Against a Business for Product Liability, Injury

    My question involves insurance law for the state of: South Dakota

    Last September I submitted a demand letter to a business' insurance company for a range of things that included breach of contract, fraud, deceptive trade practices, product liability, failure to warn, and personal injury. The insurance company hasn't denied liability or coverage, and has since hired an attorney to represent the business. Before the attorney was hired, I filed a Demand for Arbitration against the business because an arbitration agreement exists. Because the business wouldn't pay their portion of the arbitration fees and costs, the arbitration company declined to administer the case. According to their arbitration rules, this allows me to file in court. (My SOL is a few months away).

    I've been trying to do this pro se, without an attorney. Unfortunately, the attorney the insurance company hired hasn't done anything more than ask for mediation. I declined, and told him I'd prefer he present a settlement offer on behalf of his client to see if we could resolve the matter ourselves. No settlement offer has been made.

    I'd really appreciate some input that may help me understand what might be going on behind the scenes. I've never filed an insurance claim against a business before, so this is new territory for me.

    My goal is to have them make a settlement offer so we can start a negotiation process.

    Any feedback and advise would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,383

    Default Re: Claim I Filed Against a Business for Product Liability, Injury

    Here's a fact of life for you. There isn't going to be any negotiation or settlement offer unless you file your lawsuit. Period. All the opposition has to do is fold their arms and ignore you. Especially since your SOL is running out in a few months.

    If you want any meaningful comments you'll have to answer the following questions:

    1 - What happened to you that gave rise to this claim? What was the nature of your "injury"? What caused the injury? Why do you think the business is responsible?

    2 - How much money do you want? Give me a dollar amount.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    1,895

    Default Re: Claim I Filed Against a Business for Product Liability, Injury

    Quote Quoting SpicedRum
    View Post
    Last September I submitted a demand letter to a business' insurance company for a range of things that included breach of contract, fraud, deceptive trade practices, product liability, failure to warn, and personal injury.
    Breach of contract and fraud are unlikely to be covered by any insurance policy.


    Quote Quoting SpicedRum
    View Post
    I'd really appreciate some input that may help me understand what might be going on behind the scenes.
    Obviously, no one here has any insight into your particular situation, but it seems likely that the company and its insurer are waiting to see if you file suit within the SOL. Until and unless you file suit, the company and its insurer have no legal obligation to do anything.


    Quote Quoting SpicedRum
    View Post
    I've never filed an insurance claim against a business before, so this is new territory for me.
    What you likely have is what is known as a third-party claim, which means that your claim is against the company and not against the insurer. The insurer owes duties to its insured to indemnify and defend, but it owes no duties to you. Since arbitration was apparently voluntary, it is up to you to move the process along by filing suit.


    Quote Quoting SpicedRum
    View Post
    I've been trying to do this pro se, without an attorney. . . .

    . . .

    My goal is to have them make a settlement offer so we can start a negotiation process.

    Any feedback and advise would be appreciated.
    Apparently, they don't want to negotiate with you. It's possible that they know you don't know what you are doing and are simply riding out the SOL. Maybe they believe that, even if you do sue, you'll mess it up and the case will be dismissed.

    Hire an attorney.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Claim I Filed Against a Business for Product Liability, Injury

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post
    Here's a fact of life for you. There isn't going to be any negotiation or settlement offer unless you file your lawsuit. Period. All the opposition has to do is fold their arms and ignore you. Especially since your SOL is running out in a few months.
    Thanks for the dose of reality!

    I was referred to a local attorney by a lawyer who's handling a similar case against the business out-of-state. The arbitration agreement was an issue. Now that I have a letter from the arbitration company that says I can file in court, I'll turn this over to the attorney.

    Quote Quoting pg1067
    View Post
    Apparently, they don't want to negotiate with you. It's possible that they know you don't know what you are doing and are simply riding out the SOL. Maybe they believe that, even if you do sue, you'll mess it up and the case will be dismissed.

    Hire an attorney.
    I know my case. I just don't have any experience dealing with an insurance company. As you said, time to hire an attorney.

    Thanks for your input.

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