You may be liable for any amount over the limit and yes you do need to probably get your own attorney. Consult local civil defense attorneys. You may have to spend 10-20 so you wont have to spend an extra 75 plus. Risk management. Sometimes you need lawyers to watch lawyers.
Your own auto insurance company has a duty to attempt in good faith to settle within the policy limit. But, it is in your own best interest to consult with your own attorney to the extent that actual liability does exceed your coverage. Talk to the claims adjuster to find out what all the medical records indicate, get copies, and at least consult with your own attorney. See 'Legal Defense', section 3 in the article linked below:
Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers, North Andover, MA & Derry, NH provide answers for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be given by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, thoroughly familiar with the area of the law in which your concern lies. This creates no attorney-client relationship.
Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 47 was recently amended to require plaintiffs to allege a specific amount. Cases usually settle within policy limits unless there are extreme circumstances.
It is ALWAYS best to have personal counsel to monitor insurer-retained defense counsel. You can decide how much monitoring you will pay for. The jnsurer's lawyer does the heavy lifting in most instances. Your personal lawyer makes sure you are getting the legal services you paid for with your premium dollars, helps you find other coverage and/or potentialy responsible parties, and may also steer the insurer and plaintiffs to settle the case within your policy limits.
I serve as personal counsel in these cases. An initial phone interview is offered at no charge.
Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services. See http://zgourides.com for more information.
It is the duty of the insurance company to warn you about excess coverage. The chances of a judgement exceeding your limits is highly unlikely, but it is possible. I won't recommend you do any more until the case is in litigation and then a second opinion from independent counsel should be considered.
Without knowing more about the facts in your incident, it is difficult to advise you. You probably should write to your insurance company, keeping a copy for your records, advising them if you were negligent in causing the damages and, if so, urge them to settle the claims within the limit of your coverage. If they fail to resolve the claims within your policy limit and you are subjected to an excess verdict, you may have a bad faith claim against your carrier if you are hit with an excess judgment.
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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.
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