Do I have to file a lawsuit to get the policy limits from that at-fault driver? He rear-ended me and was speeding. 3 attorneys have declined to take my case. The police report says that he was speeding and was at fault. He refuses to release his policy limits, is 24 years old, works minimum wage job, lives with parents, has a cheap car ($1,900). The attorneys said that he might have bodily injury liability of $15000 and it is not worth their time. I have little-underinsured insurance, my policy was set at $15000. I was taken to the hospital by ambulance and was diagnosed with a neck sprain, scalp contusion, and neuropathy. I have been seeing a neurologist and primary care doc who has diagnosed me with a concussion, cervical radiculopathy, headache, and neck sprain. I have blurry vision, numbness in my arms, and daily headaches. I have not given any info to the insurance adjuster, who keeps calling.
Unless and until a lawsuit is filed, insurers may not divulge policy limits without the insured’s consent. However, insurers can usually be persuaded to obtain the insured’s consent to furnish this information. From a defense perspective, withholding policy limits information may be counterproductive. Plaintiffs can always obtain this information by filing suit and conducting discovery or forcing a plaintiff to litigate in order to obtain pertinent coverage information may serve only to drive up legal costs and inhibit productive negotiations [Boicourt v. Amex Assur. Co. (2000)]. Indeed, an insurer’s refusal to contact its insured or disclose policy limits creates a conflict.
between the insurer (who is trying to induce a low settlement) and the insured (who wants a settlement within policy limits) with the possible result of “bad faith” liability for any ensuing judgment that exceeds policy limits. There is a potential conflict where the claim against the insured might result in a recovery exceeding the policy limits unless the insured effects a policy limits settlement. The insured, of course, is motivated to accept a policy limits offer so as to avoid “excess liability exposure”; the insurer, on the other hand, may want to attempt the negotiation of a “better deal” or gamble on a better outcome at trial [Bogard v. Employers Cas.Co. (1985)]. Before meaningful settlement discussions can get under way, the claim must be assigned a reasonable settlement value. For this purpose, claimant will need to know whether the tortfeasors have applicable insurance coverage and, if so, what the policy limits are, whether there are excess and/or umbrella coverages, and whether the insureds and/or carriers claim the policy does not apply. Moreover, claimant is entitled to recover the reasonable value of all medical expenses that have been incurred, and that are reasonably certain to be incurred in the future, as a result of the injury [Howell v. Hamilton Meats & Provisions, Inc. (2011)].
Moreover, to recover for past or already-incurred medical expenses, claimant must prove the amount of each claimed expense; that each of the charges was reasonable; that each of the services or supplies for which medical expenses are claimed was actually given and was reasonably necessary to diagnose or treat the injuries; and that the condition that necessitated each medical-related expense was a proximate (legal) result of the injury caused by defendant [Calhoun v. Hildebrandt (1964)]. It would be best to seek personal assistance from a lawyer in order to guide you with your personal injury claim.
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