Typically, an attorney will focus his or her attention and goal on the policy limits. In most cases, the at fault driver does not have much in the way of assets to go after if the policy limits were insufficient to cover the damages and losses caused by the automobile accident. An asset search can be conducted. While it is challenging, in some cases, an attorney will look to collect more than the policy limits if the injuries are truly worth more than the policy limits. Have the attorney conduct an asset search and evaluation of the assets. Then discuss with the attorney what the "total" value of the case would be worth if there was no limit to the available liability insurance. You have valid concerns and should discuss these in detail with the attorney.
I can't stress how important it is for you to meet with an attorney who handles motorcycle cases. Call Tom Foley 516-662-7995
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If you have a qualified personal injury trial attorney who only does this type of work he/she knows how to properly pursue all possible sources of payment. Meet with your attorney and pose your inquiry. Ask if an asset search was conducted. Don't be so quick to leave your present attorney. My friend and colleague in Hauppagge specializes in locating assets and belongs to a motorcycle club.
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 www.nyelderinjurylaw.com
There are no limits all of there assets are at risk but can you get them. For example if a house his held bey tenancy by the entireties you can get the house but if hey were to inherit money in the future you can get it. Your attorney as many do is looking a the ready obtainable assets. A person can under some circumstances discharge you in bankruptcy. Talk it out with your lawyer if not satisfied get a second opinion
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It seems unusual that someone with a 2.2 m home would risk exposure with such a limited policy. You must explore this issue with your attorney before accepting a settlement here.
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The law does not limit you to the policy limits. If you were to go to trial and obtain a verdict in your favor for a sum larger than the policy limits, the insurance company would be responsible to pay its $100,000.00 policy limits, and that defendant would be personally liable to pay the rest. The question of whether to accept the limits in full satisfaction of your claim is one more of a practical consideration as to whether there is something more to gain if you don't accept it besides possibly a judgment that can't be collected upon. I have frequently refused to accept the policy limits and ultimately collected more money than just the policy limits, but there are those situations where after an asset search and other considerations, the policy limits were taken. The decision to settle belongs to you and you only. If your attorney tells you he/she refuses to take your case to trial, and you are not given a reasonable explanation why you shouldn't go to trial, then, as others have suggested, you should consult with another attorney.
An umbrella policy has to be disclosed during discovery. Moreover, just because someone has a 2.2 million dollar home does not mean there is 2.2 in equity. But look, here's the deal. All lawyers do what your lawyer is doing - if the policy gets tendered you settle. If you turn it down you have to take it to trial and you could lose - even though YOU think the other driver was 100% at fault, believe me when I say that juries on Long Island are vicious you can get bounced or a recovery for only some medical expenses. Also, suppose you get an excess verdict - say you get a verdict for $300,000.00 So the insurance company pays the $100,000 and now you have to collect the $200,000. Problem is 2 fold - 1) your retainer does not cover the attorney enforcing judgments, and 2) it is very difficult chasing someone for money to collect on a judgment. So unless you pay your attorney by the hour, or retain other counsel and pay by the hour or on contingency fee to enforce the judgment, you are never going to see that money in any event. Further, if the insurance company has tendered the policy and you turn it down, your lawyer has done his job so he is entitled to his full contingency fee upon recovery. In other words, if another attorney took it over the first $33,000 of the fee has to go to your old lawyer from the new lawyer's fee. That means that this new lawyer now has to pray he gets an excess verdict and can collect. What I am expressing is that I do not know a single lawyer that would take over the case. So what I am saying is take the money and don't look back.
The two questions I suggest you ask your attorney are (1) has he done an asset check and (2) is he absolutely positive the insurance company is being honest about there only being 100,000 in insurance. If you believe he has checked these issues out carefully, then you will want to take his advice. On the other hand, if you decide has has not and is just taking the easy way out, you may want to interview other lawyers.
Lack of adequzte insurance coverage is an all too often situation. My first thought is for your attorney to look for all available insurance which may be "excess' coverage over and above the 100k limits on the other vehicle. Do you have "Supplementary Underinsured" coverage on your motorcycle--I think not. Is there another vehicle in the "household' of the person who hit you that may provide that "excess" coverage? Assuming the absence of any other coverage then you have to make a decision whether to seek to recover damages above 100k from the personal assets of the responsible party e.g. the owwner and/or the operator of the at fault vehicle. Understand that if they do not voluntarily pay in settlement an amount over the 100k policy limits, then you will have to obtain a judgement in excess hopefully above the 100k limits and then seek to enforce it against personal assets e.g equity in the home if not in the joint name of a spouse who is not either owner or operator of the offending vehicle. This can present problems such as a filing for bankrupcy and/or transfer of assets. Discuss this with your attorney and understand the risks of going to trial and the likelihood of obtaining a verdict or settlement in excess of the policy limits of 100,000. Also,before resolving the matter, or making a decision do an asset search to learn the fiull financial picture of the owner and driver of the vehicle which hit you. Most importantly, a speedy and the best recovery to you.