Should I sign insurance papers?

My 18 year old son and his friend died last year in a car accident. ,They hit a tree on black ice. His friend who had his permit, was driving our car. My son had his license. Our car insurance company offered us $100,000 and his friend’s car insurance company offered us $100,000. The policy’s were $100,000/$300,000.

Asked on May 8, 2017 under Personal Injury, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First, please accept our sympathy for your loss.
The insurers are offering you apparently the most they could--under each policy, each person in an accident could get at most $100,000, which is what your question indicates you are being offered.
You could only get more money if: 1) there was someone who was at fault--which in an accident involving a tree and a car, means if the driver (your son's friend) was provably driving negligently (carelessly) or recklessly, and that's what caused the accident; 2) you are willing to sue that person or his family; and 3) that person (or in this case, his family) has the money to pay a large judgment (since his insurer is already offering the most it is required to, to get more than $100k, his family would have to pay out of pocket). Only if the answer to all three questions is "yes" might you take legal action. If the answer to any question is "no," since the insurers are already offering you as much they would have to, you may wish to sign, take the money, and move on.
The above said, discussing the matter before signing with an attorney, and lettiing him review the papers, is a good idea.

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