Adjuster Denied Insurance Claim...

by Bill
(Portland, ME)

I rear ended someone. I took my eyes off the road for an instant and I slammed into the guy because he stopped when a dog ran out in the road. The cop said I followed too close.

My insurance company refuses to pay for the damages, saying it was a sudden emergency. The accident was my fault I know it and the guy I hit knows it. He's suing me for his car damages right now but I have heard he was seriously hurt. My questions are:

Does he have to sue for everything in one suit? (By everything I mean his physical property and the medical part.)

Will my insurance pay anything?

The adjuster is a real you-know-what and she is mad because when she denied the claim, the guy went to our state insurance board. She was told to investigate again and she denied the claim again I think out of spite. Even I can see the guy is right to make my insurance company pay.

The laws I read said that even though he was stopped in the road it is still my fault because I wasn't paying attention to the road. I told the adjuster that and she told me she told the guy to sue the owner of the dog for damages.

I'm really scared here. The insurance company just paid out a claim in September 2010 when my child got a DUI after destroying a fence and my new truck. Please help me. What do I do?

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Adjuster Denied Insurance Claim, Rear Ended Auto Accident...":

Bill:

Normally if a lawsuit is filed all matters are incorporated into one lawsuit. As long as the issues are separate though, such as one suit for property damages, and another for medical damages, he can file separately.

If you had valid liability insurance at the time of the collision there is not much you need to be concerned with. The insurance company has a contractual duty (not a legal one) to defend you if you are sued, whether for property damages, medical damages, pain and suffering and mental anguish.

The only caveat is this... If the fellow you hit incurs medical and other collision related damages which exceed the amount of property and liability insurance you have, then he may come after you personally for the difference.

Your opinion of the adjuster and her apparent aggressive behavior is legally irrelevant. It’s pretty simple: If the fellow sues you, your insurance company will defend you, and as long as the damages he is suing for are within your liability limits, you will not have to pay a penny.

With your son’s previous DUI and now this claim, I wouldn’t be surprised if you will soon be searching for a new insurance company.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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TYPE OF ACCIDENT
AUTO ACCIDENT
PERSONAL INJURY
WORKERS COMPENSATION
MEDICAL ERROR
YES! I WANT FAIR COMPENSATION