A viewer caused a car accident where a child was severely injured. Now her insurance company is refusing to settle the case. She’s worried about going to trial. What can she do?
Dave Kuharchik: Talking about a car crash in this edition of “The Law & You.” Back with us tonight in the virtual law center are attorneys Greg Fellerman and Ed Ciarimboli. Guys, pleasure having you here again.
Ed Ciarimboli: We’re glad to be here and this is a great question.
Dave: It’s a tough question, a serious situation for Claire in Stroudsburg. She says, “I caused a crash where a child was badly hurt. My insurance company refuses to settle the case. I am very worried about going to trial.” So what can Claire do here? It sounds like a very tough time for her.
Ed: This happens a lot. And Claire, you speaking out on this, you ask the question, you’re the exception rather than the norm. Most people just think, “Oh, my insurance company is going to take care of it.” But what happens a lot of times is the insurance company refuses to settle on your behalf. And when they do that, it exposes you personally. So what you need to do is you need to pick up the phone and then call a lawyer, and you need to hire your own personal counsel in addition to the lawyer who is working on behalf of the insurance company to protect you. Because if this thing goes over the top of your policy limits, you can be on the hook personally for any damages.
Greg Fellerman: It’s astounding how often we see this. We get called a couple of times a year where we have to step in and help people with this exact scenario. Because what happens is the company, for whatever reason, they make their determination they don’t want to pay whatever your policy limits of insurance are and that creates a problem. So, on the other side, the plaintiff lawyer, what we usually do is, we’re like, “Well, why aren’t you paying us?” And then, the ultimate hammer is, “Hey, if we go to a courtroom, and get a verdict above your policy limits, that’s collectible.” Not against the insurance company, against the person, the defendant, which would be you in this case. It’s complicated, but Ed’s right, you need to have personable counsel representing you, protecting your interest, not the insurance company interests.
Ed: Protect your rights. Really, know your rights and make sure they’re being protected. Especially in a situation like this.
Dave: The call for help is easy, the number is on the bottom of your screen. You can check the guys out online or on social media as well. And don’t forget results matter with attorneys Greg Fellerman and Ed Ciarimboli. Thank you, guys.
Greg and Ed: Thanks, Dave.
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