Should I settle my personal injury? 21 Answers as of November 06, 2012

I assumed my insurance company denied the alleged victim the 25,000 dollars; so I just got a letter in the mail from the victim attorney saying that I will be sued for the amount and much more if I don't agree to the settlement within the insurance budget within 30 days of receiving the letter. What can be done?

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Cary J. Wintroub & Associates
Cary J. Wintroub & Associates | Sheldon J. Aberman
While your insurance company will appoint attorneys to appear, defend and indemnify you up to your $25,000 limit, if the claimant is successful in proving his/her damages exceed $25,000, you will be personally responsible to pay the difference between your insurance limits and the amount of the verdict. For this reason, you may wish to hire your own attorney to represent your interests, to help make certain that you are not found liable for any amount above the policy limits.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 4/27/2011
Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A.
Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A. | Lawrence A. Ramunno
You should discuss with your insurance company and the lawyer hired to represent you. You may also want to discuss with another lawyer not hired by your insurance company. maybe your insurance will agree to hold you harmless for any amount above your coverage.
Answer Applies to: Delaware
Replied: 4/27/2011
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
Why not settle the case under the terms of the policy? If the alleged victim was injured, then why not settle the matter? If you really want to make things difficult, they can also return the favor and make things hard for you too, by entering a Judgment against you for any deficiency once the insurance company pays whatever they owe under the policy. I suggest if you are still unsure, you speak with an attorney and see how much it could cost you if you don't go along with the deal they've apparently already struck. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/27/2011
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
You should call your carrier and find out what the status of your claim is.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/27/2011
Law Office of Curry & Westgate
Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
Let the insurance company do its job that is why you buy insurance.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/27/2011
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
    Truthfully not a lot. The other attorney is attempting to get you to demand your insurance company pay limits. However, that decision under most modern policies is not actually yours to make. I would report this to the company and talk to the lawyer they have representing you.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 4/27/2011
    E. Ray Critchett, LLC
    E. Ray Critchett, LLC | Ray Critchett
    Generally, I would recommend speaking with your insuranace company to determine how much money was asked for and how much money they offered. I would also ask to speak with the attorney that they are going to hire to represent you in the case. You may contact our office at (614) 515-5098 to schedule an appointment if you have further questions or if you need assistance with this issue. You can also schedule an appointment.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC | Travis Prestwich
    This is a process. You should contact your insurance company and find out where it is in that process.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 4/27/2011
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    You insurance company makes the decision as to whether they settle the suit. However, they have a duty to make good faith attempts to settle the claim within the policy limits. If the victim's attorney writes a letter offering to settle within the policy limits and the insurer unreasonably refuses to settle, then the insurer can be liable for the entire amount if the victim ultimately obtains a judgment greater than the insurance limits (in this case, I assume it is 25K). The r4eason the victim's attorney wrote this letter both to encourage the insurer to go ahead and settle for the policy limits, but also to set them up to pay the entire judgment if a jury awards a higher amount.

    If you believe the damages might exceed 25K, it would be in your interest to ask the insurer to settle. If you do not know, you could hire your own independent attorney to advise you.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 4/27/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    The plaintiff refuses to accept the policy limits. The case will be tried. Your carrier will defend you. If it is a big case you need to hire your own attorney to defend you for any amount beyond your coverage. Get lawyers advice. Don't handle this yourself or even try to do so.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 4/27/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Call your insurance company and tell them your concern.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 4/27/2011
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC | Eddie W. Wilson
    Call your insurance company and they will defend the case. It sounds like negotiations broke down between your insurance company and the other party and the other party filed suit.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 4/27/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    In general, if you have a policy limit of $25,000, that is the most the carrier will pay out in damages to the victim. If the victim sues you, your insurance company is obligated to defend you. They will hire a lawyer to defend you and you do not have to pay them. If they can settle the case under the policy limit of $25,000, they generally do not need your consent to do that. Under certain circumstances, if it goes to trial and the victim wins more than the policy limit, you would ordinarily be responsible for the excess over $25,000, however, if the carrier had the opportunity to settle for the policy limit of $25,000 or for less and did not do it, the carrier may be responsible for the excess amount. If it ever gets to that point you definitely need to seek legal counsel because it is highly unlikely that the insurance company would pay the excess voluntarily. At this point, I strongly recommend you get in touch with the insurance company and get to the adjuster handling your claim. Ask him or her what all of your options are and clearly convey to them that you expect your insurance company to do what is best to protect you 100%. I suggest you confirm what ever you discuss in an email back to the adjuster so there is a record of what transpired.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/27/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    This is not uncommon. The public just rarely hears this side. You need to retain your own attorney, because it may be in your interest to settle for the policy limits. That is why you have paid your premiums, and the insurance company may force frivolous litigation, not on the part of the Plaintiff but rather on the Defendant, you. If the facts reflect clear liability and damages in excess of your policy limits, you need your own attorney to assist you through this. Don't let the insurance company attempt to have you sell your soul for their financial gain and have you testify falsely. Further, they expose you to a verdict in excess of the limits which is a breach of their insurance contract with you. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 4/26/2011
    Fox Law Firm LLC
    Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
    You need to hire a personal injury attorney to protect your rights. Do not sign anything without having an attorney review the letter for validity first. We do practice personal injury law at this office and would be glad to sit and speak with you about your case.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 4/26/2011
    Premier Law Group
    Premier Law Group | Jason Epstein
    Call your insurance company and be sure to send them a copy of that letter.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/26/2011
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates | Lyle B. Masnikoff
    I would need to know a lot more details. I would recommend calling a personal injury attorney and speaking to your insurance agent.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 4/26/2011
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC | Russell D. Gray
    If you have insurance, the insurance company has the right to decide whether to settle. You have a duty to cooperate with your insurance company, so give them the letter and also tell them in writing that you would like them to settle the case within policy limits. Ask them for written assurance that any judgment against you for over the limits of the policy will be paid by the insurance company.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 4/26/2011
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC | Andrew F. Garruto
    This is a matter that you must communicate to your insurance company. And if this is a case that has already been filed in court, you must speak with the attorney hired by the insurance company to represent you.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 4/26/2011
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