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I was in a MVA a while ago - hired a PI atty - driver was drunk, driving someoneelses commercial pick-up

Raleigh, NC |

the policy limit for the owner of the truck was 40K but they live in a million dollar house (zillow Est) and have 3 vehicles. The driver I suppose either an employee or friend cannot be located. Atty said just be glad they have 40K and if you try to sue for more they will file bankrupcy? and you will be SOL and have to pay the cost of litigation. My ins is 100K - medical so far is 95K and climbing - Ideas?

Attorney Answers 7

  1. You need to consult with an attorney. Advise is one thing, representation is beyond this site. Good luck.

    Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff

  2. You need to discuss these issues with your attorney.

  3. Your lawyer can file

  4. Most policies in NC are sold in increments of $30K, $50K, $100K, $250K, $300K, $500K, $1mill+. As such, a $40K policy limit would be odd in NC. There may very likely be other reasonable explanations for a $40K offer (multiple plaintiff’s with significant injuries, etc). Either way, if you’ve got $100K in UIM, you have at least that much coverage (if there is indeed limited coverage for the defendant). You may be covered under multiple UIM (underinsured motorist) policies. Your attorney can explain all of this to you. Sometimes, it can get a little confusing. I’d recommend scheduling a face to face meeting with your attorney to discuss the issues involved with your case, so that you are both on the same page.
    William Owens
    Owens & Miller, PLLC
    4030 Wake Forest Road, Suite 101
    Raleigh, NC 27609
    Phone no: (919) 719-2750
    Fax no: (919) 516-0063

  5. A 40k policy limit in NC is very strange. You need to address whether you have any underinsured coverage, and whether your attorney is willing to file a lawsuit to seek an excess judgment. The insureds will be required to pay an excess judgment, but if they're as financially secure as your post suggests, it seems unlikely they'd file for bankruptcy.

  6. If you are unsure about the advice of your lawyer, look for a second opinion. You may be able to prevent a Judgment arising from drunk driving accident from being discharged in bankruptcy. Talk to your lawyer about that. Good luck.

    This answer is for general education purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship nor is it intended to provide legal advice. The answer is based on the limited information provided and the answer might be different had additional information been provided. You should consult an attorney.

  7. I concur with Mr. Hinnant & Owen.
    $40,000 is an unusual policy limits.
    If the liable party's insurance tenders policy limits and you have $100,000 in underinsured motorist covers this triggers a potential UIM claim, notice to your insurance company. It is important that the release signed with the defendant driver/owner/insurance company doesn't have a universal release.
    When looking at these cases that exceed the initial policy limits, I look at defendant vehicle owner's policy, driver's policy, client's insurance policy, and the assets of the driver & owner of the vehicle.
    As Mr. Hinnant & Mr. Owen stated, seek a meeting face to face with your attorney before agreeing to settle & sign release. Discuss that all possible sources of insurance coverages or abilities to pay by the defendant driver and car owner. If it was a company that owned the vehicle, it likely had a commercial policy, commercial policies are usually very large ($1,000,000).
    Disclaimer: This answer is based on general facts and not to create an attorney-client relationship nor be relied upon as all cases are determined on a case-by-case basis.

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