My car was involved in an accident with an individual on a bike a little over a year ago. I was not the driver but my husband and I are policy holders. The claim is being handled by my insurance as of this point and the biker hired an attorney to seek maximum damages. He claimed soft tissue injuries, but is seeking in excess of my policy’s maximum limits. Initially the insurance offered a settlement of $20K which was turned down by the plaintiff. They then offered my policy maximum of $30K. Initially the plaintiff accepted and my husband, the driver, and I were asked to sign a document that stated that the insurance was settling the claim with them for the policy max of $30K but that if the plantiff’s damages exceeded that amount he could still sue myself, my husband and the driver separately, even though we were agreeing to this settlement.
Later I was told that while the plaintiff initially accepted the $30k max settlement, the lawyer consulted with someone else at the last minute and turned the offer down. This week I was told we are being sued separately from the insurance company. Do I need to get a personal lawyer now? Or is my insurance required to give me a lawyer?
Your insurance is required to give you a lawyer. If your insurance gave the bicyclist $30k without getting you a Release from liability, you will have some valuable rights against your insurer.
I am not your attorney and don't know anything about your problem. Do not rely on my response other than as information used to hire an actual attorney.
You should hire a personal attorney on a limited basis to make sure the insurance company is protecting you.
Your insurance company will provide you with an attorney to defend you at no cost to you.
However, the insurance company will only indemnify you up to your policy limits. Based on what you have posted here, however, your insurance company could be considered to be in bad faith for not offering the bodily injury liability coverage limits immediately and then doing so later.
So, if the injured person obtains a verdict in court above your limits, I would suggest consulting with an attorney in your area who handles bad faith insurance claims, as your insurance company could be forced to cover the entire verdict if it were in bad faith.
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