What to do if I was involved in an accident with a bicyclist?

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What to do if I was involved in an accident with a bicyclist?

His lawyer is now refusing to settle with the insurance company until I give him my social and bank account balances and property values. Is this normal practice?

Asked on January 14, 2013 under Accident Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

He wants to know if he can try to get more from  you, by knowing how much you're worth and checking your credit score, etc. It's not appropriate: a settlement (or, if a case goes to trial, a judgment or  award) should be based upon fault and upon the extent of injury or damage--it's not based on how deep a person's pockets are. For example, a minimum wage worker who hit a bicyclist  (and who was at fault in doing so--remember, you are not liable unless you were at fault, which generally means negligent or careless) should pay the exact same amount as would a  billionaire who caused the same injury. If you give him this information, unless you are poor, expect that he'll ask for more from you. You should never provide this information to another person. Let him sue you if he feels he has a legitimate case; he can ask for an amount in the lawsuit justified by the injuries he can prove on his client's behalf. The above is general advice; if you have insurance, as you seem to, speak to your insurer about they recommend you do in this particular instance.


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