What to do if the other driver’s lawyer asked for the maximum from my insurer and also wants an affidavit with my and my daughter’s assets listed?

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What to do if the other driver’s lawyer asked for the maximum from my insurer and also wants an affidavit with my and my daughter’s assets listed?

My wife signed the rental agreement; the insurance policy is in my name; my daughter is covered under my policy. The other driver claims she had a miscarriage 5 days after the accident and claims it was caused by it. My daughter is 32 years old. She is covered under my policy.

Asked on September 28, 2012 under Personal Injury, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You can defend against the claim--that is, you do not need to assume that you have to pay no matter what. To be liable, the driver (your daughter) must have been at fault--for example, driving negligently, or carelessly). Even if there is fault, the injured party must prove that its injuries came from the accident--so, for example, they'd have to be proof that the woman was pregnant, did miscarry, and that the miscarriage was caused by the accident. If they can't prove any element of that, they should not be able to collect.

If you have insurance coverage, you insurer should either provide (or pay for) an attorney to defend you or, if they believe that they would lose, would pay on your behalf, up to policy limits. If there is any amount that the other side is claiming beyond what your insurer will pay--i.e. any amount that your daughter would have to pay personally--you can, as noted, dispute it and force the other side to prove their case in court.

Before doing anything, consult with an attorney. If your insurer is not paying for one for you--or if you don't trust their lawyer--your daughter should hire her own attorney.


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