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

UPDATED: Jan 14, 2013

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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