Is the insurance company disclosing all the insurance available for your injury?
When you’re hurt in a motorcycle accident and file a claim against the insurance company insuring the car which struck you, that insurance company is required to disclose or tell you the amount of the insurance liability limit. This is the amount of money available to compensate you for your injury.
The question is, how do you know if the insurance company tells you the truth?
Injuries from motorcycle accidents are frequently worth more than the insurance policy limit. A broken ankle can be worth more than $1 million.
Making sure that you find all the insurance available to compensate you for your injury, is obviously important but can be a challenge. Most lawyers do not know how to find the insurance coverage they don’t know about.
It’s not often that the insurance company, either intentionally or unintentionally, misrepresents the amount of insurance available but it does happen. Within 12 months, we had three cases where we found additional insurance policies which the insurance company did not disclose!
In one motorcycle accident with a serious injury, the driver’s insurance company disclosed a liability policy limit of $100,000 but the driver was also listed as an insured on another policy of $300,000 and an umbrella policy of $1 million!
In another accident with a serious injury, the insurance company disclosed a liability policy limit of $300,000 but failed to tell us about a $1 million umbrella policy that we found!
In yet another motorcycle accident case with a serious injury, the insurance company disclosed a $100,000 insurance policy but failed to tell us about a second insurance policy we found also for $100,000.
This is the 1st letter from GEICO advising the car had only $100,000 coverage
When we found another policy insuring the same car, GEICO then tried to claim that the two policies were concurrent meaning that they were only liable to pay $50,000 from each policy for a total of $100,000.
Still trying! This is the 2nd letter from GEICO advising they will only pay $50,000 from each policy
Finally! They gave up and we were successful in getting the insurance company to admit that the total insurance available was $200,000. It took several months but our client was very happy.
This is the 3rd letter from GEICO advising $200,000 is available to our client!
There is a way you can be protected so a release can be voided and your motorcycle accident case can be reopened if fraud was committed but it is rare that this could be accomplished. Additionally, once a release is signed and the case is settled, it’s extremely unlikely that additional insurance will ever be found.
Obviously, it’s important to know how to investigate and search for additional insurance coverage at the beginning of a case. Unfortunately, few lawyers know how to search for insurance coverage.
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Motorcycle Attorney Phil Franckel talks about how motorcycle accidents are different
Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the Personal Injury Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Franckel is well-known in New York for representing motorcyclists and created the motorcycle awareness campaign BE AWARE MOTORCYCLES ARE EVERYWHERE®.
Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.
Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the Personal Injury Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Robert began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.