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Old 12-01-2023, 12:41 PM
 
5,970 posts, read 3,715,754 times
Reputation: 17020

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What part of your car did he run into with his bicycle? If it was the side of the car, it would be hard for him to claim that you were driving sideways and hit him. If he hit the back of your car, then it's almost certainly his fault unless he claims that you were backing up and hit him (very unlikely, IMO)

Did anyone witness the incident? If so, did you get their names?

Did the bike rider seek treatment for his injuries while at the scene? Was he taken to a hospital?

What is the approximate age of this person who ran into you on his bike?

This could have been a "set up". In other words, this could have been planned.

Perhaps this guy/person has done this very same thing on numerous occasions hoping to extract "settlements" from the people whose car he ran into. There are all kinds of games that people play in order to extract money from people and their insurance companies. I'm sure that your insurance company will look into the details of this matter rather than just turning 50 LARGE over to some doofus who runs his bicycle into your car.

I doubt that you'll have to pay anything out of pocket.
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Old 12-02-2023, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
6,341 posts, read 4,896,476 times
Reputation: 17999
Quote:
Originally Posted by V8 Vega View Post
A guy on a bicycle ran into my car and hit his head and they got a law firm. They claim I hit him. My coverage is 50,000 and my claims adjuster says they are going to claim more than that. What of my assets can they take?
Many assets are partially or totally exempt from judgments:

https://saclaw.org/resource_library/...-of-judgments/

Quote:
Originally Posted by V8 Vega View Post
How can I protect myself?
You can't. It was too late the moment the accident occurred.

Quote:
Originally Posted by V8 Vega View Post
I am extremely worried. Will they sue me?
Maybe. Maybe not. A lawsuit is a tactic used for getting insurance companies to make better offers. Once a lawsuit is filed it starts costing your insurance company money for its own attorney. The other side of that coin is that personal injury attorneys want a quick payday and are reluctant to front the money that it takes to litigate. Most personal injuries are settled within policy limits without ever seeing a courtroom.


Quote:
Originally Posted by westender View Post
Do you have umbrella coverage? If not, I would get it (at least one million $) asap, although it is too late for the accident, the courts might consider some of his expenses to be the date of surgeries (future) rather than the date of the initial accident. Meaning you might get coverage on those.
No. All future damages stem from the date of the accident.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
the plaintiff can indeed sue you for the balance.
Doesn't work that way. One amount, one lawsuit. The plaintiff doesn't get the policy limit without signing a release of all claims. Once the release is signed there is no more lawsuit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
The courts can attach property, bank accounts and wages if the award is greater than the insurance and you fail to pay the difference.
True, but there are exemptions noted above and there is also bankruptcy, if appropriate.


Quote:
Originally Posted by macroy View Post
This - umbrella coverage is fairly inexpensive relative to car insurance. Albeit for mine - my auto insurance had to be at a certain level before the umbrella can be offered. I'm assuming this is the general practice. You can't just opt for the minimum auto coverage and subsidize it with a high umbrella.
True. Many insurance companies want $300,000 or $500,000 on the primary policy's limits.


Quote:
Originally Posted by V8 Vega View Post
I am waiting to see if they do indeed go over my insurance coverage. At what point should I get an attorney, I am thinking as soon as I know they are going over my insurance coverage.
That would be my recommendation.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jiminnm View Post
If your insurance covers the event, the insurer will provide an attorney to defend the case. They will not simply write a check for $50K. You need to discuss the case and the process for defending the case with that attorney and get their assessment after whatever evidence is gathered and evaluated. At that point, you can decide when to have your personal attorney or seek out a good defense counsel and discuss the process with that person.
Excellent advice.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chas863 View Post
I'm sure that your insurance company will look into the details of this matter rather than just turning 50 LARGE over to some doofus who runs his bicycle into your car.
Absolutely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chas863 View Post

I doubt that you'll have to pay anything out of pocket.
Agree, but I don't like to guarantee things like that.
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Old 12-02-2023, 06:32 PM
 
5,970 posts, read 3,715,754 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adjusterjack View Post

Agree, but I don't like to guarantee things like that.
That's why I said "I doubt that you'll have to pay..." rather than saying "I guarantee you won't have to pay..."
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Old 12-02-2023, 08:27 PM
 
15,407 posts, read 7,472,574 times
Reputation: 19339
Quote:
Originally Posted by V8 Vega View Post
I am waiting to see if they do indeed go over my insurance coverage. At what point should I get an attorney, I am thinking as soon as I know they are going over my insurance coverage.
Your insurance company is responsible for evaluating and paying the claim. Your insurance company will also provide you with an attorney if you get sued. Until you get sued, I wouldn't worry about it.

The injured guy might try to claim over the policy limits, but that's meaningless. Cases are judged on the actual damages, not the claim. If the insurance company offers $30,000 and the plaintiff accepts that, you have no further liability.

Plaintiff attorneys will settle for as much as they think they can get. Going to trial is a high risk exercise that frequently results in the plaintiff getting zero and the plaintiff attorney not getting paid.
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Old 12-02-2023, 09:17 PM
 
Location: New York Area
35,016 posts, read 16,978,303 times
Reputation: 30137
Quote:
Originally Posted by V8 Vega View Post
A guy on a bicycle ran into my car and hit his head and they got a law firm. They claim I hit him. My coverage is 50,000 and my claims adjuster says they are going to claim more than that. What of my assets can they take? How can I protect myself? I am extremely worried. Will they sue me?
I cannot give legal advice to someone not sitting in front of me and/or someone got in my state. I could stay as general principal that he probably does not have an easy claim. You would turn this over to your insurance company immediately and they likely owe you a defense. You may want to have nominal co-counsel.
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Old 12-03-2023, 07:27 AM
 
14,400 posts, read 14,292,176 times
Reputation: 45726
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
I cannot give legal advice to someone not sitting in front of me and/or someone got in my state. I could stay as general principal that he probably does not have an easy claim. You would turn this over to your insurance company immediately and they likely owe you a defense. You may want to have nominal co-counsel.
I think a bit more should be said about this subject and I thank you for giving me that opportunity.

A good starting point for this is to remember that when you purchase an automobile insurance policy, or any insurance policy for that matter there are certain covenants to that contract or agreement.

First, let's talk about a policyholder's obligations:

1. You are obligated to pay your premium;
2. You are obligated to be honest with the insurance company;
3. You are obligated to cooperate with your insurance company in terms of giving statements and providing any reasonable information that the company requests;

The obligations of the insurance company towards you are as follows:

1. They are obligated to evaluate or investigate any claim presented in good faith;
2. If a claim is presented against you is a legitimate claim they are obligated to pay that claim up to their policy limits;
3. They are obligated to provide you with a legal defense if a lawsuit is brought against you;
4. Even if the claim against you exceeds policy limits and even if they are willing to pay these they are still obligated to provide you with a defense until the matter is resolved.
5. If a claim brought against you exceeds policy limits, the company is obligated to inform you in writing of that fact and allow you an opportunity to get legal counsel of your own.

There have been situations as an attorney where I would not agree to accept policy limits as full settlement of a claim. I made the person who caused the accident come up with some money from their own pocket. Those cases involved people who insisted on purchasing minimum amounts of liability insurance and caused an accident resulting in an extremely serious injury. Such cases were not common, but have happened several times that I can think of over the years. Usually, though there are factors that prevent you from pursuing individuals who are insured for compensation above policy limits. The individual can file bankruptcy. If he does, the debt incurred as a result of causing an accident is unsecured debt and is readily dischargeable in bankruptcy court. A second more important factor me is that in the state in which I practice, we have developed an insurance code that pretty much requires individuals to purchase underinsured motorist coverage. If you want to pursue underinsured motorist coverage, you have to be willing to give up the right to claim excess money from someone with inadequate insurance. The company providing the underinsured motorist insurance coverage will reserve the right after paying your client to pursue the person with inadequate insurance through a subrogation lawsuit.

In short, without knowing more I am reluctant to say much more. However, there are not many cases where someone ends up paying more to an accident victim than their insurance policy limits. I think though that buying the very lowest amount of insurance the law will let you buy is asking for trouble.

Last edited by markg91359; 12-03-2023 at 08:01 AM..
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Old 12-03-2023, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
21,830 posts, read 25,114,712 times
Reputation: 19061
Mostly it's in the past. You could have had adequate insurance coverage and/or a umbrella insurance. That's how you protrct yourself, not getting Harvey Spector.

A lot depends now on whose fault the accident was, severity of damages, and how much you have to lose. Insurance company will hire a lawyer and have a duty to defend you in the action.... But they only have a liability of 50k. If you're looking at significant exposure above that, you should probably get your own attorney.
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Old 12-03-2023, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Prepperland
19,018 posts, read 14,193,756 times
Reputation: 16740
[Bad joke flag on]
File a counter suit that his head damaged your automobile.
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Old 12-04-2023, 06:40 AM
 
Location: New York Area
35,016 posts, read 16,978,303 times
Reputation: 30137
Quote:
Originally Posted by jetgraphics View Post
[Bad joke flag on]
File a counter suit that his head damaged your automobile.
That is not necessarily as much of a joke as you think. Liability could potentially go either way. This is not a rear-end collision.
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Old 12-04-2023, 08:44 AM
 
5,970 posts, read 3,715,754 times
Reputation: 17020
It has now been 4 days since the OP made his first post on this thread. I'm still waiting for more information on exactly how this happened. Details matter.
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