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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    15

    Default Asset Protection When Damages May Exceed Policy Limits

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

    I am not involved in litigation - but could be. The insurance adjuster is still working with the injured party's attorney. The claim looks to be close to or at policy limits ($100,000). I am at fault and the car was titled to me and my wife. She makes a lot more than I do and her salary would be exposed to garnishment. I NOW know these are asset protection mistakes. We have since increased our coverage to 500k/1 Million. I am also seeking an umbrella policy. But that does not help with the past.

    My question involves tactical decisions on what to do if suit is filed. I have a few questions:

    1. Does bargaining above policy limits usually take place before suit? That is, does the adjuster come to me and ask how much I might be willing to pay to avoid suit?

    2. If the adjuster asks me to "contribute" to the settlement should I do this? How do I know what is a fair amount?

    3. If suit is filed and the potential exposure is more than I can afford bankruptcy would be an option. So, at what point should we file? That is, do you wait until after mediation, just before or after trial or what?

    4. I know this is a bankruptcy question -- if you file before judgment the damages are unliquidated. How much do you include in your petition?

    Thanks for reading...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Asset Protection When Damages May Exceed Policy Limits

    If the adjuster thinks the claim will exceed policy limits, the adjuster will typically send you a letter warning of that possibility and advising you of your right to retain an independent lawyer to represent your interests. Most cases settle within policy limits.

    If you file a bankruptcy case before the case is resolved, the bankruptcy court will either adjudicate the claim or permit the litigation to proceed in order to establish the value of the claim.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Asset Protection When Damages May Exceed Policy Limits

    Thanks for the reply. I did receive such a letter.

    My question is will the adjuster normally attempt to include me in a negotiation for an above limits negotiation or will they just offer policy limits, have the plaintiff reject and file suit and let the attorneys do the negotiations?

    Obviously I hope this settles for policy limits. The value does not seem much more according the adjuster so it probably will not be cost effective to litigate from the plaintiff's contingency attorney's point of view -- after all he wants to get paid sooner than late.

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