If I caused a motorcyclist to crash because I didn’t see him so pulled out in front of him, should seek out legal representation?

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If I caused a motorcyclist to crash because I didn’t see him so pulled out in front of him, should seek out legal representation?

My insurance company has offered him a $10,000 settlement. The motorcyclist has a lawyer now and is requesting I fill out a financial affidavit before they agree to the insurance settlement. I have absolutely nothing to give this guy. Also, I should mention that he wasn’t wearing any protective gear. So far I have just been dealing with my insurer but was wondering if I should consult with an attorney?

Asked on May 21, 2015 under Personal Injury, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Do not fill out anything or provide any information without consulting with an attorney. Your insurer *should* provide a lawyer for you, as party of their obligation to defend you; but if they don't, then yes, consult with your own attorney. Note that a critical issue may be the extent of your insurance coverag--your insurer is only obligated to defend and/or pay for up to the limit of your policy. So if your policy is only $10,000, for example, the insurer has done it's job by offering to pay $10,000 even if the other side is seeking potentially $50k or $100k or more; even if your policy is a little higher than the $10k offer (say that's $15k), the insurer's potential exposure of liability is limited compared to your own, and they don't have any duty or incentive to do more than, say, offer a settlement up  to, at most, the policy limit. The insurer's interests and yours could easily diverge. In this case, you can't "trust" your insurer--they are limited in what they have to do.

If you have substantially more coverage, then you and your insurer are more likely aligned in your interests.


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