If I already settled with the driver in small claims court, can I still pursue the driver’s insurance company?

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If I already settled with the driver in small claims court, can I still pursue the driver’s insurance company?

The other driver is 100% at fault. His policy has a $10K limit and no bodily injury. My final damages w/ medical bills exceed $9K. Since a 2nd car was hit by the driver the total accident claims were in excess of $23K. I immediately sued the driver in small claims for $5K knowing their insurance limits were not high enough. The driver agreed to pay $5K as part of the small claims agreement. Their insurance has since withdrawn their initial offer of $2400 my rental car and diminished value.

Asked on April 12, 2012 under Accident Law, Florida

Answers:

DRichard White / MoKan Personal Injury Group

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Any claim you make will always be against the at fault driver. The courts do not like multiple suits from the same person resulting for the same incident. Check the small claims paperwork and requirements, they may require that any and all claims you have are to be stated and addressed in your petition - if so then you would be barred from bringing any further suits against the at fault party for the incident in question and the insurance company knowing the same would not entertain any further discussion regarding your claims. If however the small claims paperwork do not make such a requirement and your petition was for property damages only then you can still pursue a personal injury claim. Since the pursue of medical expenses may be considered a part of a personal injury claim then if your petition included your medical cost then you may be barred from seeking a personal injury claim and again the insurance company would not entertain any discussions with you.

Madan Ahluwalia / Ahluwalia Law P. C.

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It depends on what the breakdown of your claim is and what was the scope of your settlement with the driver.

If you sued the driver for pain and suffering but not for out-of-pocket expenses, then you can. However, if you sued the driver for all the  damages resulting from the car accident, then you can not pursue claim from insurance company.

Hope the answer is clear.


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