Can I get 2 separate settlements for the same injury?
by Gerard (Daytona Beach, Florida)
I was driving home from work and I had stopped at a red light when truck behind me failed to stop in time and rear ended my car. I was injured and now have rising medical bills. The driver gave me his personal insurance information. He didn't have the company's information with him. Instead he gave me the name of their national corporate office and told me if I call there they will give me their insurance information.
My questions is, if I settle my case with the driver's personal insurance company can I still get a separate settlement from the company's insurance company? In other words, can I collect twice for the same injury? Thanks.
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ANSWER for "Can I get 2 separate settlements for the same injury?":
Gerard (Daytona Beach, Florida):
You can negotiate 2 separate personal injury settlements for the same injury. You have a legitimate right to do so but there is an exception I'll get to in a minute.
While pursuing your separate claims you are under no obligation to tell either insurance company you are negotiating separate settlements.
Don't wait until you notify the corporate office to file your claim with the driver's personal insurance company. Instead file your claim immediately with the "at-fault" driver's insurance company.
As soon as is reasonably possible call the corporate office to report the collision and your resulting injuries. It is likely the company will have already been notified by the at-fault employee. Either way the claim will be investigated and most probably assigned to the company's insurance department or their retained attorneys.
Almost all drivers who collide with the rear of another's car are wholly responsible for the damages caused. In these types of collisions it is very rare for there to be any comparative or contributory negligence from the driver who was hit from behind. In your case there doesn't appear to be any contributory or comparative negligence.
The exception occurs when it becomes necessary for you to file a claim with your own insurance company. This might happen if you have rising medical bills and need money quickly to pay them.
In this case your insurance company will have a "right of reimbursement". That means you may have to reimburse them for the money they "loaned" you to pay your medical bills.
In some cases your insurance will "subrogate" against the at-fault driver. That means your insurance company also has the right to seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver for any money they effectively loaned to you. You won't though have any obligation to reimburse your insurance company if your claims aren't settled or won at trial.
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.
The accuracy of information provided on this site is not guaranteed. It is generic information for informal purposes only. It is NOT formal legal advice. Your use of this site does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Before relying on any information found in this site you should consult with a licensed attorney in your state. If you are currently represented by an attorney, you should strictly abide by his/her counsel.