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Quick legal question regarding insurance settlements...

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Quick legal question regarding insurance settlements...

Old 11-30-2011, 01:49 PM
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Quick legal question regarding insurance settlements...

I was in an accident in NY back in September. It was determined to be 100% the fault of the other driver. Policy limits for property damage is $10k. I am the last to get paid, (of the three involved parties) and there is only $4k left. My damages are roughly $8k.

They want to mail me a check today, which I really could use to get things done to the Jeep, but in order to receive payment I have to sign a form saying I release the insurance company, the policy holder, and the driver from all liability, and that it is not an admission of any liability (seems like a contradiction to the other letter they sent that says the insurance company has 100% liability for the loss).

The adjuster is leaving for vacation on Friday and won't be back until the first of the year.

If I sign this so I can at least collect this payment, will I have ANY recourse for getting the rest of it back? Or will I just be claiming it as a loss on my taxes?
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:59 PM
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Re: Quick legal question regarding insurance settlements...

No, if you cash that then you have no way to get additional $$$. You should have put it through your insurance. They would have paid to have it fixed, went after their insurance company, and then sued the guy for the difference with no cost to you.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:00 PM
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Re: Quick legal question regarding insurance settlements...

Don't sign it. Don't **** away your right to get the full amount of money to repair the damage. Go after the at fault owner for their assets.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:07 PM
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Re: Quick legal question regarding insurance settlements...

Since you didn't go through your own insurance company (like Blue89Bird said) then you need to how much trouble you are willing to go through to get all of the money. If you accept their settlement you will have no legal recourse but get at least half of the money. If you don't accept it, how hard do you think it will be to get all of it? Without a lawyer working for you my guess is they will easily blow you off and you won't get anywhere. It sucks that you would be taking a loss but accepting their settlement might be the best thing to do.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:07 PM
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Re: Quick legal question regarding insurance settlements...

Originally Posted by Blue89Bird View Post
No, if you cash that then you have no way to get additional $$$. You should have put it through your insurance. They would have paid to have it fixed, went after their insurance company, and then sued the guy for the difference with no cost to you.
I didn't want to make a claim on my insurance if I didn't need to. NY is a comparative negligence state so they decide what percentage each party is liable. I knew they would be 100% in this case (I was parked).

Originally Posted by Slappy3243 View Post
Don't sign it. Don't **** away your right to get the full amount of money to repair the damage. Go after the at fault owner for their assets.
I'm just concerned if I don't, I will have to fight to get ANYTHING out of them at all. Kind of feel like I should get what I can now while it's on the table, but I'd like a modified agreement saying I release them from the damages in the amount of their check. That's how we do lien waivers in construction... if we are owed $10k and they pay us $5k, we give them a lien waiver for 50% of the amount owed at that time.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:09 PM
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Re: Quick legal question regarding insurance settlements...

Originally Posted by Timberwolf View Post
I'm just concerned if I don't, I will have to fight to get ANYTHING out of them at all. Kind of feel like I should get what I can now while it's on the table, but I'd like a modified agreement saying I release them from the damages in the amount of their check. That's how we do lien waivers in construction... if we are owed $10k and they pay us $5k, we give them a lien waiver for 50% of the amount owed at that time.
I understand why you would sign it. If you don't, you will need a lawyer to get anything done. I don't know if this is a case where you can file a suit to get your legal fees repaid as well. This is why the insurance industry is BS.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:15 PM
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Re: Quick legal question regarding insurance settlements...

hire an attorney and let them handle it. You OK a check for that amount and sign the waiver, your only collecting the $4K. Won't see another dime.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:16 PM
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Re: Quick legal question regarding insurance settlements...

This is why you have your OWN insurance. (or, if you don't...carry on...you'll never get more than 4k. Are you going to sue the claimant and expect to win the debt? Chances are if they're only carrying 10k liability, they don't have any money to sue for anyhow.

Set up a claim. Make the claimant's adjuster send you a check for your deductible. Have your insurance co subrogate for the rest. You don't need a lawyer to do this. In a comp/neg state, there is no reason to not go through your insurance. If you are 100% not at fault, then the accident shouldn't be "chargeable" on your policy rates.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:28 PM
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Only $10K limit for property damage? That sounds kind of low. I am not sure what mine is but I think it is $100K?

Sent from my DROID Pro using Tapatalk
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:35 PM
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Re: Quick legal question regarding insurance settlements...

Originally Posted by OutsiderIROC-Z View Post
Only $10K limit for property damage? That sounds kind of low. I am not sure what mine is but I think it is $100K?

Sent from my DROID Pro using Tapatalk
The job I was doing while I was there (insurance adjuster, coincidentally) required me to have $1M in PD coverage
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:38 PM
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Re: Quick legal question regarding insurance settlements...

Originally Posted by 97QuasarBlue3.8 View Post
This is why you have your OWN insurance. (or, if you don't...carry on...you'll never get more than 4k. Are you going to sue the claimant and expect to win the debt? Chances are if they're only carrying 10k liability, they don't have any money to sue for anyhow.

Set up a claim. Make the claimant's adjuster send you a check for your deductible. Have your insurance co subrogate for the rest. You don't need a lawyer to do this. In a comp/neg state, there is no reason to not go through your insurance. If you are 100% not at fault, then the accident shouldn't be "chargeable" on your policy rates.
I live in a No Fault state (MI). The accident occurred in the comp/neg state.

Check this out:

We have completed our investigation of your automobile property damage claim.

The Rules of Comparative Neglience apply to all motor vehicle accidents in the STATE OF NEW YORK. This means that Neglience is determined according to the fault of the parties involved. If our insured is partial liable for the loss, the claimant is entitled to partial recovery.

Based on our findings we have determined Herefordís insured has 100% liability for the above loss.

Enclosed find release in the amount of $4009.80 which represent the balance on the insured policy of $10,000.00 Please signed and notorized the release and return to us as soon as possible.
And the release:

I/We Michael C____ Jr. in consideration of the payment Four Thousand Nine Dollars
and Eighty Cents ($4009.80) herby remise. Release and Rab Nawaz, Iftikhar Ahmad and Hereford Insurance Company, his/her, their heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assigns from any and all claims, demands, actions and causes of action for damages arising on account of damage to property arising from an accident which occurred on September 11, 2011 at Goethals Ave & 162nd Street Queens NY

Four Thousand Nine Dollars and Eighty Cents ($4009.80) hereby consideration of this Release is to be paid as follows:

To Michael C____ Jr IF IS UNDERSTOOD AND AGREED, that this release and any Payment(s) made pursuant here to is not to be taken as an admission of any liability on the part of the insured, discharge Rab Nawaz, Iftikhar Ahmad and Hereford Insurance Company.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:45 PM
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Re: Quick legal question regarding insurance settlements...

Originally Posted by Timberwolf View Post
I live in a No Fault state (MI). The accident occurred in the comp/neg state.

Check this out:



And the release:
I'd still open a claim with your own company. And yes, that's how all releases from insurance companies read. They have assigned 100% liability to the other driver, but they are saying they are not responsible on behalf of the insured beyond the policy, and that the insured is not responsible to you beyond the policy. I believe you can still go after them civilly.

For $4k, at least in my world, it wouldn't be worth going after in court. Like I said, the claimant probably has no money anyhow, so you'll get a judgement against the claimant and then never see any money. Plus you'll be out all your legal fees.

This is why you have insurance of your own.

At least, this is why I have very good insurance of my own. Because there's plenty of piece-of-**** people out there that have no means to take responsibility for their negligence or actions.
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:05 PM
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Re: Quick legal question regarding insurance settlements...

Originally Posted by Slappy3243 View Post
Don't sign it. Don't **** away your right to get the full amount of money to repair the damage. Go after the at fault owner for their assets.
This.

Lawyer up now! Tell them nothing, do not sign anything.. they can talk to your lawyer

If you need the truck fixed pay for it and get it back..sue them (the ins co and the driver.. Name both ) for the full amount plus all costs
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:06 PM
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Re: Quick legal question regarding insurance settlements...

What's keeping me from going ahead and making a claim on my insurance is the fact that my jeep was broken into causing damage as well (unrelated and in a different location than the damage attributed to the accident) and I don't want to get into a situation where I've had too many claims in too short of a period of time.

I went ahead and got the paper notarized... I'm just deciding whether to send it.

What do you think would happen if I modified the language in the release and then got THAT notarized and sent it back? If they then paid me, would that constitute them accepting the form/terms as I sent it? I only see this flying if they don't read it first and the paper pushers just file it and cut the check. At that point they couldn't produce a document that didn't match my original (that I keep) if it ever went to court.

And if I were to go after the balance in a civil scenario, it would likely be a small claims issue against the policy holder (which is an owner of a fleet of vehicles - I forgot to mention this was a commercial policy)
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:51 PM
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Re: Quick legal question regarding insurance settlements...

If you sign it and send it back you'll never see the remaining money even with a lawyer. This is why you have your own insurance. My younger brother had an accident that wasn't his fault, matter of fact I was driving his car with him in the back seat sleeping and we got rear ended. Four cars were involved and the last truck that hit the car behind me which hit me and pushed me into the car in front of me all were paid for by their respective companies. My brother's insurance then went after the other company for his deductible and money they paid out. He didn't get the money for a year but that's why we pay insurance.

I understand your claim about the break in being separate but you have insurance for a reason, and while it is not a perfect system at times it comes in handy.
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