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I was falsely accused of a traffic accident involving injury to a pedestrian. My insurance co. settled but, release not signed !

Fort Lauderdale, FL |

I was falsely accused of a traffic accident involving injury to a pedestrian. Although, I was clearly not at fault, My insurance co. decided to settle with the victims attorney to the maximum of my liability limits but, release not signed yet. He is currently trying to go after his UM/UIM policy for pain and suffering. I believe this involves suing his own insurance company . If he gets rewarded, Will his insurance company try to recoup those funds by filing a lawsuit against me ?

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

you have the right to retain your own lawyer and make sure the insurance company complies with protecting your rights. failure to do so could result in the UM carrier pursuing a claim against you. ordinarily the insurance company wont tender the funds until a release is signed.

without a detailed review by a lawyer can all the issues raised in your question be appropriately addressed...nothing in this response should be construed as establishing a lawyer client relationship..the answers herein are for informational purposes and not to be construed as advice

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6 comments

Asker

Posted

Thanks for responding ! My company did pay them the max of my liability insurance but, the personal injury lawyer said they are waiting for the outcome of the UM/UIM of the victims insurance before signing the release. Can I still be sued by his insurance company to try to recoup those funds that will be paid to him for pain and suffering ?

Jeff Tomberg

Jeff Tomberg

Posted

possibly..that is why i suggested you contact your own lawyer to review this. you never mentioned if you were injured. if so he should represent you for that claim as well

Asker

Posted

He was hit by a car that is totally different than the car I drive. I was not at the scene. I was falsely accused. Can they still sue me in civil court ?

Jeff Tomberg

Jeff Tomberg

Posted

they could that is why i suggest you have the matter reviewed by your own lawyer

Asker

Posted

The criminal charges were dropped by the state prosecutor for this accident. Does that have any weight upon a civil case if one is brought against me?

Jeff Tomberg

Jeff Tomberg

Posted

none

Posted

If your insurer obtains a release for you it should protect against a subrogation claim by an underinsured carrier. You need personal coverage counsel licensed in the jurisdiction of the settlement if your insurer did not obtain a release.

My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. 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.

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Posted

Hopefully the release your insurance company receives is well drafted and will protect you from any further liability. I am not licensed in FL, however you likely have the right to independent counsel to represent your interests. You may want to speak with a local lawyer to ensure you are covered. If not, the release does not cover you, it possible that you would have a claim against your insurance company for putting their interests above yours.

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1 comment

David Bradley Dohner

David Bradley Dohner

Posted

Listen to this gentleman's very sound advice. It doesn't happen often (i.e. an insurer settling a claim without securing a proper and complete release which satisfactorily protects its insured), but when it does, it is messy, and nothing you wan to tackle as a pet project. Go with the bird feeder, instead, LOL, and hire a lawyer for a coverage issue if it truly comes to pass that there is such an issue. Best regards, Dave Dohner, Esq.

Posted

You need to demand your insurance carrier obtain a release on your behalf before they pay limits. You should do this verbally and in writing to the adjuster or lawyer handling the claim. In Florida insurance companies have the duty to their own insured to act in good faith and protect you from getting sued if they can. Also, before the other driver can sue for the UM under his policy he must get permission from his own UM carrier to accept whatever your carrier is offering which may give you additional time to make sure you are released. As an added precaution you may want to make surethat the avdverse drivers insurance carrier is named in the rlease specifically to ensure the UM carrier cannot pursue you.

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4 comments

Asker

Posted

The problem is that , after payment was made and sitting in the PI trust account, the PI attorney said they are waiting for the results of the payment of the UM before they sign the release. Does that sound right ?

Alexander J Perkins

Alexander J Perkins

Posted

Perhaps the your insurer should not have tendered the check without signed release or an agreement release would be signed. It sounds like the PI atty is waiting to see if they can get any money from the UM carrier before they release you. The bottom line is that your insurer should have ried to obtain a release and still should.

Asker

Posted

That is what my insurance company told me. They sent the PI attorney a check and a release form to be signed. They cashed the check and it's sitting in a trust account. They are waiting for the money from the UM before they sign the release. From what i understand they have to get an approval from the UM and sign a release before any UM money is paid out. What methods can they use to try to obtain a release before the UM approval. I thought if they sign the release without the UM approval, they forfeit the UM money ! Am I correct ? Thanks

Alexander J Perkins

Alexander J Perkins

Posted

Correct in that that tecnically the UM carrier can say they did not comply with the policy terms.

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