If I was in a multi-4 car accident, should I obtain a lawyer outside of my insurance company?

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If I was in a multi-4 car accident, should I obtain a lawyer outside of my insurance company?

The police took the statement of the first 3 drivers then assessed I was at fault without getting my full statement of what I witnessed. In this case, Car 1 hit their break at the last minute which started the chain reaction. I hit Car 4 (bumper damage), who hit Car 2 (major front end damage) who his Car 1 (minimum bumper damage). I informed my insurance adjuster that Car 2 hit Car 1 before I hit Car 4 that pushed it into Car 2.

Asked on December 17, 2015 under Accident Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

There are two main issues in regards to whether it would be a good idea to retain an independent attorney.
First, what stance is your insurer taking, and do they seem to be representing your interests. If it looks like they are going to defend you the way they should under your policy, there's not need to get an independent attorney unless and until the below occurs.
Second, if you are actually sued for more than your policy limits, you may wish to have an independent attorney, because your insurer only needs to depend or indemnify (pay for; e.g. settle or pay a judgment against you) up to the limits of the coverage you purchased. If you have, say, $50,000 of coverage but are sued for $150,000, your insurer could simply decide to pay out $50k, which discharges their responsibility, leaving you potentially on the hook for another $100k--in that case, you'd very much want your own attorney.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

There are two main issues in regards to whether it would be a good idea to retain an independent attorney.
First, what stance is your insurer taking, and do they seem to be representing your interests. If it looks like they are going to defend you the way they should under your policy, there's not need to get an independent attorney unless and until the below occurs.
Second, if you are actually sued for more than your policy limits, you may wish to have an independent attorney, because your insurer only needs to depend or indemnify (pay for; e.g. settle or pay a judgment against you) up to the limits of the coverage you purchased. If you have, say, $50,000 of coverage but are sued for $150,000, your insurer could simply decide to pay out $50k, which discharges their responsibility, leaving you potentially on the hook for another $100k--in that case, you'd very much want your own attorney.


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