Car accident settlement

Asked over 1 year ago - Boston, MA

If you are in a car accident and hire an attorney for PI.. Does the attorney generally find out what the
other policy holder has for insurance early on or do they generally wait until they write a demand letter?

Attorney answers (9)

  1. Daniel Nelson Deasy

    Contributor Level 20

    7

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . While your attorney may try to get the info prior to making a demand, more and more carriers are holding that info in confidence unless a lawsuit is filed (when they have to disclose limits). The theory is they do not want plaintiff's attorneys simply making policy limits demands -- they want specificity in demands.

    The better PI attorneys always figure out a way to get this info early in the process.

    Good luck to you!

    In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship.... more
  2. Andrew Daniel Myers

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Massachusetts law requires insurance companies to disclose all applicable policy limits within 30 days after a formal request. MGL c. 175 Sec. 112 C. Many states, notably neighboring NH, do not have such statutes. Therefore, most insurance adjusters will disclose this information over the telephone. However, sometimes they want a written request. After the written request, insurers of any risk in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts must disclose the insurance policy limits. No argument. More on motor vehicle accident follow-up.:

    Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers, North Andover, MA & Derry, NH provide answers for informational purposes only.... more
  3. David R. Lucas

    Pro

    Contributor Level 8

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I always find out immediately. I send a request for the information along with my initial notice to the insurer of the claim. I'm surprised by the other posts that this is not required in other states.

  4. Philip Anthony Fabiano

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I demand to know the policy limits immediately...before a lawsuit is filed. In Pennsylvania once a lawsuit is filed the insurance company must disclose the policy limit and provide a copy of the policy if requested. When an insurance company tells me pre-suit that they do not want and are not required to disclose the limits, I tell them I can't negotiate without knowing the limits and what they are doing is just forcing me to file the lawsuit. They typically relent and disclose the coverage. I think it's unethical to negotiate without this information. My demand must be informed and the policy limits are part of that information. I have not patience for the idea that the value is not connected to the amount of the limits.

    If you feel this is the "best" answer or is "helpful," please indicate. Since I am limited to the information you... more
  5. Daniel Knight Dinneen

    Contributor Level 13

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . An insurance company is under no obligation to disclose the limits until after a lawsuit has been filed. It is counterproductive for all concerned when they refuse to disclose the limits presuit, but they do it anyway.

    No one ever said insurance companies were rational.

  6. Christopher Michael Davis

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It depends on the state which you reside. In some states, the insurance companies have no obligation to disclose their insured policy limits without the insured permission. If a lawsuit is filled, the policy limits will be disclosed during discovery.

  7. Lars A. Lundeen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It depends. Many states have statutes which require the disclosure of policy limits upon inquiry. Other states only require disclosure after suit is filed.

    Ask your attorney what the circumstances are in the State in question.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

    This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.
  8. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It is the first thing your attorney would want to find, and he would ask for the policy limits immediately

  9. Robert H Flynn

    Contributor Level 8

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes. But sometimes, with a large commercial defendant, the information is not as necessary. You are looking for the value of the cae, not the coverage. And sometimes, if the case is large, but coverage is suspected to be small, demand could send the signal that the insurer should ignore the thought of saving money offmiys policy and just pay it over.
    Bob Flynn

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