If the at fault driver and I have the same insurance company can they share info? 15 Answers as of October 18, 2012

I've wrote in several times and I appreciate all the advice. My question now is We both have State farm Ins. She received the citation. Rear-ended from behind speed of impact 55-60mph. I trying to use my Med pay on my policy to cover all these co-pays etc. If I sign the medical release records for my med pay will they share it with her adjuster. I've been told not to sign any release papers or give in recorded recap of events. I'm not sure how it all works since we are dealing with the same company. Any advice. Another thing also, my car was totaled, and was also paid off. Kelly Blue Book was between $14,500-$15,400. They offered me $17,000. Why are they being so generous? I've heard most of the time that is a battle, to settle on the car. Thanks for any and all advice.

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Lapin Law Offices
Lapin Law Offices | Jeffrey Lapin
You ask two different questions which I will address separately: Question 1: "If the at fault driver and I have the same insurance company can they share info?" State Farm will have separate adjusters handling this accident. You will have one as will the other driver. These adjusters will not have access to any information contained within the other adjuster's file unless both you and the other driver consent to the information being shared. Unless you consent, the adjusters cannot share information with each other. Question 2: "Why are they being so generous?" I cannot fully answer this question without additional information. State Farm does not use Kelly Blue Book in determining the value of a vehicle. They use other information to determine the value of a vehicle. Normally, the amount that State Farm offers should be near what Kelly Blue Book says a vehicle is worth. So to answer your question, I do not believe State Farm is being "generous." They are just using a source that gives you a higher amount for your vehicle than Kelly Blue Book does.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 10/18/2012
Downriver Injury and Auto Law | Michael Heilmann
Do not give a recorded statement. It will haunt you and will never help you. You are not a lawyer. Don't kiss a gift horse in the mouth. If they want to give you $17,000, take it. Don't sign a full release. Read what you are signing.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/11/2012
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
On the property damage, I don't know, but be happy? As to a recorded statement, check your policy language, or require them to provide it to you if they claim the policy requires it. That is not uncommon language. Communicate with them by fax, so you have a record, and condition your release of information on the basis that they will not share it without your consent. Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may just request that they tender the policy limits from your med pay and the defendant driver's policy. Also, Do you have Uninsured/Underinsured motorist's coverage? If the extent and duration of your injuries justify them tendering the policy limits of the defendant's policy, your med pay, and you UM, and they won't tender those limits, get a lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 10/11/2012
LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT T. DURBROW, JR. | Robert T. Durbrow, Jr.
Usually when you and the responsible party have the same insurance company, the company will waive any deductible may have. It does not seems appropriate for the insurance company to share your medical reports with another adjuster who is handling the liability claim for the responsible party. However, you will have to give that adjuster all of your medical information at some time so they can evaluate you injuries and damages. I would think the insurance would not share your medical information until you are ready to negotiate a final settlement. Sometimes insurance companies are more generous with property damage claims when there are potential personal injury claims. Sometimes they are just generous.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/11/2012
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
Who knows why insurance cos do what they do. It may be a mistake but if you are satisfied with their figure take it now and spend it. as far as sharing is concerned they are supposed to keep matters separate but who knows again. They are all crooks who feed off the public. They will take advantage of you any way they can to save money for the co. that is why they are hired they are not hired to help you or the public. It is all about money. If you are hurt bad get a good PI attorney.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 10/10/2012
    Law Offices of Frank M. Nunes, Inc.
    Law Offices of Frank M. Nunes, Inc. | Frank M. Nunes
    State Farm has been recently engaging in a dual claims representative process with is obviously a conflict of interest on their part. You have to cooperate with State Farm if you want them to pay your medical bills under your medical payments coverage through your policy. If you sign the authorization, specify that as a condition of the authorization you do not authorize it to be disclosed the any claims representative who is working on behalf of the other driver. Then contact the California Insurance Commissioner's public inquiry unit and file a complaint. You should do this before you hire an attorney, as once you hire an attorney, the Insurance Commissioner's Office will not help you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/10/2012
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    First, they are required to pay you the state tax on the sale of your vehicle, assuming it was totaled. 6% (it varies from county to county) on $15,400 is over $900, so if the value of your car was $16,000 (just picking a number out of thin air), then 6% of that figure is $960, bringing the total to $16,960. They are also required to provide you with a rental car from the day of the accident until the day they give you a check for your car, so that could easily account for the additional $40. Make sure the release you sign says "Property damage only" on it, and give the adjuster a letter, telling them that State Farm does not have your permission to make your file available to the third party adjuster.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/10/2012
    John Russo | John Russo
    First of all either you are doing this on your own or you are not, there is no in-between. You claim you have been told, by who? First of all you want something to be paid for by the insurance company, but you do not want them to have access to the information so that they can pay what you claim needs to be paid, makes sense. They are entitled to your medical records if you are claiming injury from the accident; It is called discovery they will get it at some point with or without your compliance. Whether or not the insurance company is the same entity or a different one similar logic applies, to what you call sharing. How do you expect the other side to settle with you if they do not have all the relevant information as it relates to your accident. On just your word, that works. They are entitled to all medical records relating to the accident as well as narratives, etc. One of the reasons they want the release is to look for preexisting conditions. You could forward them all the medical records from this accident, but conveniently leave something out so they want to be able to cross check, if this ends up in suit they will get them anyway. The only correct information you received was do not record anything. Now are they sharing info what do you think?
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 10/10/2012
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    Be thankful for the higher value on the car, they use several sources to determine the value of a vehicle. You can expect State Farm to share your information with each other. If you had sued them they would ultimately get your information. Do not sign any releases, that is your power of control.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/10/2012
    Frank Law Group, P.C.
    Frank Law Group, P.C. | Brett E. Rosenthal
    Regardless of carrier, the at fault carrier, which just happens to be the same as yours is entitled to and obligated to undertake an investigation of the accident facts to determine fault. Assuming there is a traffic collision report that is one source and given that the carrier happens to be the same if they obtain records for purposes of paying under your Med Pay coverage they should not use that information in the context of the bodily injury claim. However, from a practical standpoint to pursue the bodily injury claim you must provide medical records and bills anyway to substantiate your injuries and related treatment. From a liability standpoint, normally I would encourage the giving of a recorded statement to your own carrier because they are obligated to protect that information from the adverse carrier, however, where it's the same carrier I would advise against giving a recorded statement, especially where this is a clear liability rear end collision anyway.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/10/2012
    Matthew D Kaplan LLC
    Matthew D Kaplan LLC | Matthew D Kaplan
    If you are comfortable with the amount you should settle the property portion of your case. Make sure that it is not a general release of all claims. Your PIP should be paying for all of your medical bills, not just your copays. In order for that to happen you have a duty to cooperate with your PIP; this includes signing a medical authorization and filling out a PIP application. This can be confusing when both parties have the same Insurance company. You should not sign anything allowing the at fault drivers adjuster to get a hold of your records. There should be some sort of firewall between the two adjusters and your files. Whether or not that is the practice, I am not so sure.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 10/10/2012
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    Not legally. Not without both of you signing waivers.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/10/2012
    Victor Varga | Victor Varga
    Usually no, as they are treated as separate claims. However, you can ask your claims rep. As for the amount of the offer for your car, just take the money...they are probably using a different guide to determine the FMV (maybe Edmunds). Also, KBB is a national average FMV, so your car may be worth more than the KBB value.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 10/10/2012
    Wild Sky Law Group, PLLC
    Wild Sky Law Group, PLLC | Roxanne Eberle
    You have to cooperate with your own insurance company to get your med pay benefits. Sign releases for your med pay claim only (check the claim numbers on the papers). Kelly Blue Book is not a reliable gauge of a car's true value so State Farm did the right thing by paying you what they did - they base it on comparable sales of vehicles in your area.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/10/2012
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