California  |  Insurance Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 5/24/11, 12:28 pm

I was in an at-fault accident about 3 years ago, and 1 of the drivers is claiming injury (plus lots of other stuff). My policy limits are lower than she wants to settle for, so the claim has been going on for a few years. Because the statute of limitations ran, in order to keep the claim open, she filed a suit against me personally and the hearing date is coming up. If my insurance does settle with her, can she still come after me personally? Or could I be required to personally contribute in order to settle?

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2 Answers

Answered on: 5/24/11, 12:41 pm by Edward Hoffman

The insurance company will insist that she release you from liability as part of any settlement. But if she refuses to accept your policy limits, the insurer may ask you to pitch in so that the case can be settled. But she shouldn't be able to continue pursuing you after settling with the insurer.

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Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman 11755 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1250 Los Angeles, CA 90025

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Answered on: 5/26/11, 10:41 am by Steven Murray

Has the plaintiff demanded or did the insurer offer the policy limits? Under certain circumstances the insurer may be liable for the entire award if it exceeds the limits.

You should consider contacting a private attorney, without telling the insurer's defense attorney handling your case, and discuss the entire situation. Whatever you disclose to the defense lawyer will get back to the insurer, which might also be your adversary. There may be other ways of resolving this which immunize you from any personal liability. It is impossible to tell from the sparse facts you stated. However once you have all of the information about your choices, you can go from there. Good luck.

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Steven W. Murray, APC 14930 Ventura Blvd., Ste. 205 Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

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