Have auto liability claims against 2 different ins. co’s. 1 has offered to pay max policy limit, other is unresponsive. Should I accept from 1st co.?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jun 12, 2012

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Insurance Question from Alpharetta, GA

Asked on 06/12/2012

Have auto liability claims against 2 different ins. co’s. 1 has offered to pay max policy limit, other is unresponsive. Should I accept from 1st co.? My father was in a terrible accident in March and died after several days in intensive care. The other party was at fault(crossed center line/head-on) The car driver has a policy w/ TN Farm Bureau, the car owner(her mother) has a policy with State Farm(as did my father). The owners State Farm claims agent has been quite helpful and has offered the max amount on the owners policy($100k). The drivers claims agent has not responded to my voice mails, nor has made any settlement offer. I assume they may be waiting for all bills(may all have been submitted by now). I was told this policy is likely $250k. Total bills I am aware of are in the $750k range, however most have gone through/are going Medicare and right now there is approx $125k to be repaid to Medicare and AARP/UHC supplemental, and I believe the life flight service may refrain from submitting through Medicare($20k). I have a couple of questions: 1) Is there any reason not to accept the State Farm offer of $100k since this is the policy limit? We would like to start clearing some of the bills/repay Medicare 2) How long should I wait for Farm Bureau to reply/contact me? Our intent is not to make money off of this event. We want to make sure the medical bills are covered, and then go on with our lives. I assume if we need to retain an attorney, we will need to get some reimbursement from the lady who ran into my father

Answer given on June 12, 2012

When there is an automobile accident, the insurance follows the car so the owner of the car is the primary insurance for injuries and damages in the loss. Since this was such a major accident it is possible that the driver’s insurance company would be expected to be involved in the settlement of the claim.Your decision to accept settlement from the first insurance company should have no relationship to the other insurance company. The policy limits are being offered, so there is no more that would be paid out by that insurance company.You should contact your father’s insurance company to see if the policy has uninsured/underinsured coverage. If so, you could submit for repayment from that coverage since the loss exceeds the amount of coverage you were able to collect from the first insurance company.You should ask to speak to a supervisor at the second insurance company to see if they will work with you on your claim. Maybe they can help you get settlment from that insurance company.

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