If my insurance company has not settled with the other driver from a simple accident and now I’m being sued, do I need seperate representation?

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If my insurance company has not settled with the other driver from a simple accident and now I’m being sued, do I need seperate representation?

The insurer has not settled a simple accident with the other drive and now I’m being sued. They said they will represent me and I should talk to no one about the claim, but the other party is also a client of the same inurer. Isn’t the insurance company biased here? How can they represent my best interest? Shouldn’t I have my own lawyer?

Asked on August 14, 2011 Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The insurer has an obligation to defend you, and moreover, has an obligation to exercise good faith in its defense of it. All contracts, indeed, come with an obligation to exercise good faith, but courts consistently hold that insurance contacts are held to an every higher standard of good faith, because they are not arms length transactions between more-or-less equals.

This means that if the insurer does not defend you well and honestly, you may have a cause of action against them. While you are right to be somewhat guarded or skeptical--though there are valid reasons they may not have settled; e.g. they may not feel the accident was your fault, and they are not obligated to pay when their insured is not at  fault--you may wish to watch the proceedings carefully, and then seek legal advice or representation if/when it seems they are not discharging their obligation to you.


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