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What can you do if there are multiple claimants in one MVA case, which has $100,000/$300,000 and can't agree on settlement?

Brooklyn, NY |

One claimant has enough injuries to collect full policy but the other two claimants has soft tissue injuries such as bulges but don't want to settle or accept offer because they feel that it's too low. How can we speed up the process?

Attorney Answers 6

Posted

Although you are well versed in personal injury claims arising from motor vehicle accidents, one thing is apparent from your post and other comments to the responses you've received here: you have some confusion as to how the policy limits apply to your individual claim.

The bottom line is that if your injuries are worth significantly more than $100,000 then you should be recovering $100,000. The other claimants have nothing to do with your ability to recover that amount of money because there is plenty of coverage in the policy. It affords $100,000 per person in the accident but $300,000 of total coverage. If the adjuster is attempting to confuse you by saying that the total available amount of the policy is $100,000, he is simply trying to pull the wool over your eyes because you are unrepresented.

You should ask the adjuster to put your discussion about the other claimants and how they affect the policy in writing. I bet he refuses.or that there was some type of miscommunication. Either way just tell him to offer you $100,000 so that he can be rid of you and continue to fight out the other smaller claims with the attorneys. Good luck.

The aforementioned opinion does not constitute legal advice and is for general educational purposes only. See an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction for competent legal advice. No attorney-client relationship has been formed through the within legal question and answer session.

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Asker

Posted

Hello. I really appreciate your response. Finally an attorney who is smart and knows what they're talking about and understands my question. but I have already requested in writing for the policy declaration page. I already started legal action pro-se and filed S&C at kings and still have yet to receive an answer after 45 days after them being served. God bless Aetna! Just finished writing a default letter which i will ship out overnight with a copy of S&C, AOS, etc. Im sure they will start listening to me once I do a default judgment :-)

Anthony A. Ferrante

Anthony A. Ferrante

Posted

If you are looking to confirm policy information, getting the declarations page is a good place to start. You should also demand an affidavit of no excess or additional insurance. Another possible avenue for coverage would be if the at fault vehicle was driven by someone who is not the owner. If that was the case in your accident then demand an affidavit from the driver re: applicable auto insurance coverage. Making a motion for default is a good way to speed along the process but the most likely result will be that the court will permit the defendants answer and the case will begin to move forward. While you seem to be moving the case along just fine (my guess is you worked in a law firm?) now that you have started a lawsuit you should really think long and hard about whether to hire an attorney. There are so many pitfalls and obstacles to overcome in automobile accident cases, and even though your injuries are significant (I'm going on what you stated, although you haven't said what they are exactly) there are many ways to lose a case like this. Obviously the choice is yours but you'd better believe that the insurance company and their lawyers are happy to see that you are representing yourself because they will use every opportunity they can to take advantage of your lack of experience. These types of cases very rarely settle for full value early on and if you really are going to litigate the case, you need a lawyer on your side to make sure the BP alleges the appropriate injuries and allegations of negligence, to make sure you are properly prepared for a deposition, to make sure that you can defeat a threshold motion with the appropriate evidence in admissible form, and to try the case if it gets that far. I appreciate your compliments, and believe me, the last thing I want to do is offend, but chances are that your recovery without a lawyer will be less to significantly less than your recovery with one. It is your chance to take, of course, and I guess that every dollar over $66k you get will be a win for you because you don't have to pay a fee. But with that comes the risk the your recovery will be far less than that #. As I said, good luck. If you decide to continue on your own, keep my email and I'll offer up some free advice. If you decide to hire a lawyer, then do the same.

Asker

Posted

Hello. I already requested the declaration page. As far as the affidavit of no access its not necessary. Then deff has a $500k umbrella policy (already on notice) but I can even begin to worry about that, until I settle the case for full policy. As far as the litigation portion of the case, I have no problems and more then capable of handling the case from start to finish :-). From BP's, Motions, to even going on my own PC, CC, Ebt, etc heh just frustrated at the stupidity of the other claimants. I really appreciate your help though. If I get stuck, I will be sure to call u :-) But it shouldnt drag that far. Liability is not an issue amd neither are the damages. I just hope I dont have to go further then serving them the BP and discussing settlement. But the good news is, Im dealing with an examiner, which I have settled many good cases with. So we shall see.

Posted

These can be difficult situations. Sometimes it is worked out by the plantiffs agreeing to accept a full tender of the insurance money and then either mediating or arbitrating how to split it up if they can't work it out themselves..

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Posted

I doubt I would be able to arrange an Arbitration or Mediation. One of the claimants was not even injured but feels that because she got in to an accident she deserves a compensation. The other claimant from what I understand from the BI Examiner, has barely any injuries but also has a similar mentality about the case. I just hope their attorneys decide not to file a lawsuit on the case then it will drag on through litigation for years.

Posted

No one claimant can get more than 100k with a 100/300 policy. The total aggregate the carrier is liable for is 300k. You can always refuse to settle and seek a personal judgment against the offending driver. Only you and your counsel can make that call. Short of that or the availability of underinsurance, your option is to get the best settlement you can up to the 100k available to you.

Disclaimer- The information you obtain at our web-site or through postings on such sites as this is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for specific advice regarding your individual situation. Any response given here is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response may change appropriately.

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Posted

That was not the question. The problem is, my injuries are worth more then $100,00. There are multiple claimants, which means I would have to share the $100,000 and the other two claimant refuse to settle because they feel their offers are too low. They have no injuries what so ever. As far as personal judgement, I can't do that because I know the other guy is poor and that would take years. PS. I'm negotiating my own settlement due to my extensive experience ;-)

Craig A. Post

Craig A. Post

Posted

Unless the information is not correct, you could collect 100k and not have to share with anyone. A 100/300 policy entitles each claimant to 100k , assuming no more than 3 claimants here. I understand your question but unless you make some deal with the other plaintiffs that entitles you to some of their money, you will never get more than 100k (again assuming there is no personal judgment against the offending driver or any available underinsurance)

Posted

You can have your lawyer speak with the other plaintiff's lawyers. If not the case will go to court and the judge or jury will decide. Make sure to ask your lawyer to see if you have a claim for underinsurance.

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or www.mynewyorkcitylawyer.com.

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Posted

There is no Under Insured Policy available. Already looked in to it. I'm trying to stay away from litigation. As far as contacting the other attorneys, I already tried that. They are greedy bastards and like they all say "looking out for the best interest of their clients." So that didn't go well at all.

Jayson Lutzky

Jayson Lutzky

Posted

I guess you will have to go to court and have the judge or jury decide. See if ADR is available. Alternative dispute resolution would be either arbitration or mediation if the parties all agree.

Posted

The seriously injured client would be limited to the 100k, so there would be plenty left.

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Posted

I get that but what about the rest of the claimants?

Posted

A 100/300 policy means that the most any one claimant can recover from that insurance policy is $100k and the most the insurance company ever has to pay out to all claimants in total is $300k. Thus, even if there are 20 claimants, the insurance company only has $300k in exposure, but no one person can recover more than $100k. If there is only 1 claimant, the insurance company only has $100k of exposure. Since there appears to be you and just 2 other claimants, there should be no issue with a division of the policy like there would be with a single limit policy. There is nothing to prevent you from resolving your claim if a reasonable offer is made. However, if you or the other two claimants can't agree on a settlement, you can commence a lawsuit against the owner and operator of the other vehicle if you have not already. If you don't have an attorney, you would be wise to get one, especially if the case has to go to trial. Good luck.

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