Help with potential lawsuit

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thefoggycity
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Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:08 am

Help with potential lawsuit

Post by thefoggycity » Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:14 am

Hello, everyone:

I was hoping I could get some sound advice about a predicament my wife and I find ourselves in related to an auto accident last year.

One year ago, my wife was in her car, with our infant daughter in the back seat. She was a few blocks from home and at a stoplight. She turned around to check on why our daughter was crying and her foot accidentally slipped off the brake. She subsequently bumped the car in front of her at the stoplight.

There was no damage to either car, but she pulled over and exchanged information with the other driver. The other driver was fine. Everything was settled months ago, but we recently received a letter from our insurance saying that this man is now claiming all sorts of bodily injury from the accident and is requesting our bodily injury liability coverage. USAA, who has been great, say that they will represent us, if needed with their own lawyer if the other driver does not accept our bodily injury coverage.

We have discovered that throughout this process, we need to bump up our bodily injury coverage in the future, as ours is pretty low. Any advice, however, about how best to proceed? We're a little scared that we may be taken to court and personally liable for damages that exceed our coverage. What's so frustrating is that it seems this other driver is really taking advantage.

Thoughts?

Thank you!

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BolderBoy
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Location: Colorado

Re: Help with potential lawsuit

Post by BolderBoy » Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:29 am

thefoggycity wrote:We have discovered that throughout this process, we need to bump up our bodily injury coverage in the future, as ours is pretty low. Any advice, however, about how best to proceed? We're a little scared that we may be taken to court and personally liable for damages that exceed our coverage.

In general, this doesn't happen - your insurance coverage is the low hanging fruit and it takes extra effort for plaintiffs to go after more than that. My best suggestion: listen to USAA and follow their advice - they are experts in this area. If they assign you a lawyer, listen to the lawyer's advice - s/he is an expert in this area.

It's good that you have decided to boost your BI coverage. You could consider adding a liability umbrella to your insurances, too, for more peace of mind.

(I'm not a lawyer)
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

stan1
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Re: Help with potential lawsuit

Post by stan1 » Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:35 am

This is why you have insurance. It is a little scary and new to you but USAA sees this every day. If you have significant assets or income you should look into an umbrella policy. A $1M or $2M umbrella policy is not very expensive (which means the insurance companies don't pay out those amounts very often).

Chicago60
Posts: 271
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:40 pm

Re: Help with potential lawsuit

Post by Chicago60 » Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:47 am

You say "everything was settled months ago", but that the other driver is now claiming personal injury. In what way was it "settled?" Did your insurance company pay the other driver for either damage to his vehicle, or his personal injuries, or both? If so, did the insurance company require a release of liability? If so, the driver probably cannot proceed with a claim that will withstand it being dismissed.

Or....was it not really "settled?" If that is the case, your insurance company will be required to hire a lawyer ON YOUR BEHALF to defend you if a lawsuit is filed. If you have real concerns that the provable damages will exceed your policy limits, you may want to also hire your own lawyer. By that I mean: though the insurance company lawyer is ethically required to look out for your interests, and not necessarily the insurance company's interests, that lawyer is paid by, and expects to get future business from, your insurance company. If you also hire your own lawyer, he/she can do their best to ensure that any settlement occurs within policy limits.

gclancer
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Re: Help with potential lawsuit

Post by gclancer » Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:54 am

USAA will handle it. No need to hire a lawyer because they'll hire one for you. This is a good opportunity to examine your insurance coverage and determine whether an umbrella policy would be appropriate (sounds like it would be). I agree it's unlikely anyone will go after you personally - they just want "easy" money from USAA.

thefoggycity
Posts: 81
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:08 am

Re: Help with potential lawsuit

Post by thefoggycity » Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:57 am

Chicago60 wrote:You say "everything was settled months ago", but that the other driver is now claiming personal injury. In what way was it "settled?" Did your insurance company pay the other driver for either damage to his vehicle, or his personal injuries, or both? If so, did the insurance company require a release of liability? If so, the driver probably cannot proceed with a claim that will withstand it being dismissed.

Or....was it not really "settled?" If that is the case, your insurance company will be required to hire a lawyer ON YOUR BEHALF to defend you if a lawsuit is filed. If you have real concerns that the provable damages will exceed your policy limits, you may want to also hire your own lawyer. By that I mean: though the insurance company lawyer is ethically required to look out for your interests, and not necessarily the insurance company's interests, that lawyer is paid by, and expects to get future business from, your insurance company. If you also hire your own lawyer, he/she can do their best to ensure that any settlement occurs within policy limits.



Here's what was mailed to us a year ago:

Thank you for trusting us with your insurance needs. I've completed the accident investigation for
the claim referenced below:

As we discussed on August 11, 2015, the driver of your vehicle was determined to be principally at
fault. State law requires that we determine who was responsible for the accident and notify you if
the driver of your vehicle was principally at fault. Our decision is that the driver of your vehicle was
100% at fault. We consider these at-fault decisions when determining future premiums.


I thought that was considered "settled".

thefoggycity
Posts: 81
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:08 am

Re: Help with potential lawsuit

Post by thefoggycity » Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:58 am

gclancer wrote:USAA will handle it. No need to hire a lawyer because they'll hire one for you. This is a good opportunity to examine your insurance coverage and determine whether an umbrella policy would be appropriate (sounds like it would be). I agree it's unlikely anyone will go after you personally - they just want "easy" money from USAA.


Thank you for your reassurance! I really appreciate it. We're hoping for the best.

thefoggycity
Posts: 81
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:08 am

Re: Help with potential lawsuit

Post by thefoggycity » Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:59 am

stan1 wrote:This is why you have insurance. It is a little scary and new to you but USAA sees this every day. If you have significant assets or income you should look into an umbrella policy. A $1M or $2M umbrella policy is not very expensive (which means the insurance companies don't pay out those amounts very often).


We'll definitely look into an umbrella policy. Thank you!

thefoggycity
Posts: 81
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:08 am

Re: Help with potential lawsuit

Post by thefoggycity » Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:59 am

BolderBoy wrote:
thefoggycity wrote:We have discovered that throughout this process, we need to bump up our bodily injury coverage in the future, as ours is pretty low. Any advice, however, about how best to proceed? We're a little scared that we may be taken to court and personally liable for damages that exceed our coverage.

In general, this doesn't happen - your insurance coverage is the low hanging fruit and it takes extra effort for plaintiffs to go after more than that. My best suggestion: listen to USAA and follow their advice - they are experts in this area. If they assign you a lawyer, listen to the lawyer's advice - s/he is an expert in this area.

It's good that you have decided to boost your BI coverage. You could consider adding a liability umbrella to your insurances, too, for more peace of mind.

(I'm not a lawyer)


Got it. Thank you, much appreciated.

Chicago60
Posts: 271
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Re: Help with potential lawsuit

Post by Chicago60 » Sat Sep 03, 2016 10:06 am

thefoggycity wrote:
Chicago60 wrote:You say "everything was settled months ago", but that the other driver is now claiming personal injury. In what way was it "settled?" Did your insurance company pay the other driver for either damage to his vehicle, or his personal injuries, or both? If so, did the insurance company require a release of liability? If so, the driver probably cannot proceed with a claim that will withstand it being dismissed.

Or....was it not really "settled?" If that is the case, your insurance company will be required to hire a lawyer ON YOUR BEHALF to defend you if a lawsuit is filed. If you have real concerns that the provable damages will exceed your policy limits, you may want to also hire your own lawyer. By that I mean: though the insurance company lawyer is ethically required to look out for your interests, and not necessarily the insurance company's interests, that lawyer is paid by, and expects to get future business from, your insurance company. If you also hire your own lawyer, he/she can do their best to ensure that any settlement occurs within policy limits.



Here's what was mailed to us a year ago:

Thank you for trusting us with your insurance needs. I've completed the accident investigation for
the claim referenced below:

As we discussed on August 11, 2015, the driver of your vehicle was determined to be principally at
fault. State law requires that we determine who was responsible for the accident and notify you if
the driver of your vehicle was principally at fault. Our decision is that the driver of your vehicle was
100% at fault. We consider these at-fault decisions when determining future premiums.


I thought that was considered "settled".


Nope, not settled by any means. I am sorry to inform you but the letter may be meaningless. Your insurance company supposedly did its own investigation and (not surprisingly) concluded the other driver was responsible for the accident (which seems inconsistent with the facts in the opening post--albeit with minimal if any damage) so it was "concluding" it would not be responsible to pay. Based on your description of the accident, it seems likely that even if your policy has very low limits, they should be sufficient to cover any claim. But....if YOU are the nervous type and it would help you sleep at night, you may want to hire your own lawyer experienced in such matters for the reasons I explained above.

thefoggycity
Posts: 81
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:08 am

Re: Help with potential lawsuit

Post by thefoggycity » Sat Sep 03, 2016 10:11 am

Chicago60 wrote:
thefoggycity wrote:
Chicago60 wrote:You say "everything was settled months ago", but that the other driver is now claiming personal injury. In what way was it "settled?" Did your insurance company pay the other driver for either damage to his vehicle, or his personal injuries, or both? If so, did the insurance company require a release of liability? If so, the driver probably cannot proceed with a claim that will withstand it being dismissed.

Or....was it not really "settled?" If that is the case, your insurance company will be required to hire a lawyer ON YOUR BEHALF to defend you if a lawsuit is filed. If you have real concerns that the provable damages will exceed your policy limits, you may want to also hire your own lawyer. By that I mean: though the insurance company lawyer is ethically required to look out for your interests, and not necessarily the insurance company's interests, that lawyer is paid by, and expects to get future business from, your insurance company. If you also hire your own lawyer, he/she can do their best to ensure that any settlement occurs within policy limits.



Here's what was mailed to us a year ago:

Thank you for trusting us with your insurance needs. I've completed the accident investigation for
the claim referenced below:

As we discussed on August 11, 2015, the driver of your vehicle was determined to be principally at
fault. State law requires that we determine who was responsible for the accident and notify you if
the driver of your vehicle was principally at fault. Our decision is that the driver of your vehicle was
100% at fault. We consider these at-fault decisions when determining future premiums.


I thought that was considered "settled".


Nope, not settled by any means. I am sorry to inform you but the letter may be meaningless. Your insurance company supposedly did its own investigation and (not surprisingly) concluded the other driver was responsible for the accident (which seems inconsistent with the facts in the opening post--albeit with minimal if any damage) so it was "concluding" it would not be responsible to pay. Based on your description of the accident, it seems likely that even if your policy has very low limits, they should be sufficient to cover any claim. But....if YOU are the nervous type and it would help you sleep at night, you may want to hire your own lawyer experienced in such matters for the reasons I explained above.


Thanks again for the feedback.

mcraepat9
Posts: 775
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:46 am

Re: Help with potential lawsuit

Post by mcraepat9 » Sat Sep 03, 2016 10:22 am

Chicago60 wrote:
thefoggycity wrote:
Chicago60 wrote:You say "everything was settled months ago", but that the other driver is now claiming personal injury. In what way was it "settled?" Did your insurance company pay the other driver for either damage to his vehicle, or his personal injuries, or both? If so, did the insurance company require a release of liability? If so, the driver probably cannot proceed with a claim that will withstand it being dismissed.

Or....was it not really "settled?" If that is the case, your insurance company will be required to hire a lawyer ON YOUR BEHALF to defend you if a lawsuit is filed. If you have real concerns that the provable damages will exceed your policy limits, you may want to also hire your own lawyer. By that I mean: though the insurance company lawyer is ethically required to look out for your interests, and not necessarily the insurance company's interests, that lawyer is paid by, and expects to get future business from, your insurance company. If you also hire your own lawyer, he/she can do their best to ensure that any settlement occurs within policy limits.



Here's what was mailed to us a year ago:

Thank you for trusting us with your insurance needs. I've completed the accident investigation for
the claim referenced below:

As we discussed on August 11, 2015, the driver of your vehicle was determined to be principally at
fault. State law requires that we determine who was responsible for the accident and notify you if
the driver of your vehicle was principally at fault. Our decision is that the driver of your vehicle was
100% at fault. We consider these at-fault decisions when determining future premiums.


I thought that was considered "settled".


Nope, not settled by any means. I am sorry to inform you but the letter may be meaningless. Your insurance company supposedly did its own investigation and (not surprisingly) concluded the other driver was responsible for the accident (which seems inconsistent with the facts in the opening post--albeit with minimal if any damage) so it was "concluding" it would not be responsible to pay. Based on your description of the accident, it seems likely that even if your policy has very low limits, they should be sufficient to cover any claim. But....if YOU are the nervous type and it would help you sleep at night, you may want to hire your own lawyer experienced in such matters for the reasons I explained above.


I think the letter from the insurance co is pretty clearly saying the OP was at fault, not the other driver.
Amateur investors are not cool-headed logicians.

TravelGeek
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Re: Help with potential lawsuit

Post by TravelGeek » Sat Sep 03, 2016 10:28 am

Chicago60 wrote:[

Nope, not settled by any means. I am sorry to inform you but the letter may be meaningless. Your insurance company supposedly did its own investigation and (not surprisingly) concluded the other driver was responsible for the accident (which seems inconsistent with the facts in the opening post--albeit with minimal if any damage) so it was "concluding" it would not be responsible to pay.


I think you misread that. The insurance said:

"the driver of your vehicle was determined to be principally at fault"

Doesn't say anything about the claim of the other driver having been settled, though.

LarryAllen
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Re: Help with potential lawsuit

Post by LarryAllen » Sat Sep 03, 2016 11:00 am

As stated USAA should handle it so I wouldn't worry.

It is rare that lawsuits exceed insurance coverage.

As others have said do bump your coverage and FOR SURE get a couple mil umbrella.

Good luck!

thefoggycity
Posts: 81
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:08 am

Re: Help with potential lawsuit

Post by thefoggycity » Sat Sep 03, 2016 11:15 am

LarryAllen wrote:As stated USAA should handle it so I wouldn't worry.

It is rare that lawsuits exceed insurance coverage.

As others have said do bump your coverage and FOR SURE get a couple mil umbrella.

Good luck!


Will do! Thank you for the support.

CedarWaxWing
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Re: Help with potential lawsuit

Post by CedarWaxWing » Sat Sep 03, 2016 11:54 am

No damage to either car... low energy accident by the mechanism you explained.

There is likely no injury, and it will be diff to come up with true evidence on a serious injury, and at the time the other party appeared and claimed to not be injured? Pain is not easy to prove or disprove, but most other injuries will have evidence one way or the other. Your insurance will take care of this.. as is their job, but based on you OP I think they need to explain fully the components of your coverage, and the limits of each.

However, I thought your bodily injury coverage covers occupants of your vehicles, and over and above those limits, for you/your family... your health insurance kicks in right?

I believe auto liability coverage covers liability of that car/insured party for the damages and legal liabilities the insured may have for damages to others that were not passengers in the insured car. In an accident as you describe... with no apparent injuries at the time... the likelyhood of new injuries of significance that pop up later... brings up a lot of questions that will need to be answered by the person bringing the complaint... and your insurance company deals with these things on a regular basis.

Perhaps you need a detailed explanation from your insurance people as to what portion of your policy would cover this claim, what those limits are, and ask them to explain in detail what each of your insurance components are for, and what their limits are.

You need to ask these questions, for your own peace of mind, but in a low energy accident, you coverages are likey fine. Whether you need higher limits later... needs to be determined by you and the insurance guys later.

Good luck...

M

orca91
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Re: Help with potential lawsuit

Post by orca91 » Sat Sep 03, 2016 12:17 pm

As said, you're probably fine and let USAA take care of it.

I go through USAA for my auto insurance... and have an umbrella policy with them. If you go the umbrella route, USAA will set or adjust your liability limits to what they say you need for the umbrella policy anyway. Prior to getting the umbrella policy, I had everything on auto insurance set to whatever gave me the lowest premium. That didn't fly when I got the umbrella policy (deductibles can still be where I choose).

thefoggycity
Posts: 81
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Re: Help with potential lawsuit

Post by thefoggycity » Sat Sep 03, 2016 12:45 pm

orca91 wrote:As said, you're probably fine and let USAA take care of it.

I go through USAA for my auto insurance... and have an umbrella policy with them. If you go the umbrella route, USAA will set or adjust your liability limits to what they say you need for the umbrella policy anyway. Prior to getting the umbrella policy, I had everything on auto insurance set to whatever gave me the lowest premium. That didn't fly when I got the umbrella policy (deductibles can still be where I choose).


Truth be told I'm nervous because our BI coverage is only $50,000. Lesson learned, I suppose.

I just called USAA, and you're right, in order to get umbrella I need to up my auto insurance to 300/500/100. But it's surprisingly not too expensive to do so.

Thank you.

TRC
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Re: Help with potential lawsuit

Post by TRC » Sat Sep 03, 2016 12:50 pm

A friend of mine was recently in an accident and got rear ended. He was stopped in traffic and the person slammed into him going 50 mph. Initially he felt fine, but major back injuries followed weeks later. Not sure how serious your accident was , but sometimes injuries legitimately do not appear till later.

SuzBanyan
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Re: Help with potential lawsuit

Post by SuzBanyan » Sat Sep 03, 2016 1:23 pm

thefoggycity wrote:
orca91 wrote:As said, you're probably fine and let USAA take care of it.

I go through USAA for my auto insurance... and have an umbrella policy with them. If you go the umbrella route, USAA will set or adjust your liability limits to what they say you need for the umbrella policy anyway. Prior to getting the umbrella policy, I had everything on auto insurance set to whatever gave me the lowest premium. That didn't fly when I got the umbrella policy (deductibles can still be where I choose).


Truth be told I'm nervous because our BI coverage is only $50,000. Lesson learned, I suppose.

I just called USAA, and you're right, in order to get umbrella I need to up my auto insurance to 300/500/100. But it's surprisingly not too expensive to do so.

Thank you.

Something similar happened to me years ago. I ran a red light and hit a Volvo. The driver of the other car sued me for $1M; our coverage was $300K. I got the letter -- on a Friday afternoon -- saying that I would need to hire my own attorney if appeared that the matter would exceed my limits. The matter was settled for about $10K.
I then had to wait a couple of years before I could add an Umbrella policy for additional coverage. I've had it ever since.
Best of luck to you in resolving this. It really is pretty routine for the insurance company.

newbie_Mo
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Re: Help with potential lawsuit

Post by newbie_Mo » Sat Sep 03, 2016 1:47 pm

SuzBanyan wrote:
thefoggycity wrote:
orca91 wrote:As said, you're probably fine and let USAA take care of it.

I go through USAA for my auto insurance... and have an umbrella policy with them. If you go the umbrella route, USAA will set or adjust your liability limits to what they say you need for the umbrella policy anyway. Prior to getting the umbrella policy, I had everything on auto insurance set to whatever gave me the lowest premium. That didn't fly when I got the umbrella policy (deductibles can still be where I choose).


Truth be told I'm nervous because our BI coverage is only $50,000. Lesson learned, I suppose.

I just called USAA, and you're right, in order to get umbrella I need to up my auto insurance to 300/500/100. But it's surprisingly not too expensive to do so.

Thank you.

Something similar happened to me years ago. I ran a red light and hit a Volvo. The driver of the other car sued me for $1M; our coverage was $300K. I got the letter -- on a Friday afternoon -- saying that I would need to hire my own attorney if appeared that the matter would exceed my limits. The matter was settled for about $10K.
I then had to wait a couple of years before I could add an Umbrella policy for additional coverage. I've had it ever since.
Best of luck to you in resolving this. It really is pretty routine for the insurance company.


Did your insurance company reveal your policy limit? I have always wondered if a higher coverage would make me a bigger target.

anonyvestor
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Re: Help with potential lawsuit

Post by anonyvestor » Sat Sep 03, 2016 2:15 pm

It seems obvious the plaintiff has acquired an opportunistic personal injury attorney.

My concern is that USAA may be tempted to dismiss the potential gravity of your case as a relatively low risk case, compromising your defense. Keep in mind there is likely no cap on damages. Your risk is far higher than theirs.

Personally, I would involve my own counsel immediately, demonstrate a degree of interest/oversight/expertise which may encourage your USAA attorney to step up their game, and dissuade the opportunistic plaintiff's attorney from the outset. They don't want to waste their time.

I would caution you about simply deferring to the presumed professional expertise of the assigned USAA attorney.

I observed a colleague do this once, with highly unfavorable results on a case he was thought highly likely to win with minimal potential damages. Wrong on both counts. It was a tragedy of injustice.

I have used my strategy twice, with decisively prompt and favorable results. Plaintiff withdrew before going to court.

Make no mistake about it - they are threatening to take whatever they can get their hands on. Make it clear you are ready for a real fight, and they will likely wait for a better victim.

No I am not a lawyer, nor able to offer legal advice. But this is a gunfight. Don't show up with a knife.

obgraham
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Re: Help with potential lawsuit

Post by obgraham » Sat Sep 03, 2016 4:10 pm

Couple of points generally, rather than specific to this case:

Don't always tell your insurance agent to get you "whatever gives the lowest premium". Not surprisingly, you usually will find that a lower premium involves a lower coverage. Someday you too may need that coverage.

Keeping all your insurance (auto, home, umbrella) in the same company gives less room for companies to wiggle out of coverage.

Demand communication from your insurance company as a case evolves. OP here should be able to get a progress report on the case. Has a suit in fact been filed? Or are the attorneys simply trying to frighten you into an easy payment? There's no reason to be intimidated by legal threats as long as you have coverage -- that's what courts are for.

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celia
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Trust-Owned Vehicle?

Post by celia » Sat Sep 03, 2016 5:19 pm

OP, Is the car registered as part of your family trust, by any chance? Opposing parties (or their lawyers) tend to see bigger dollar signs when they are in an accident with a company-owned or trust-owned vehicle. If your car is owned (on the title) by your trust, it is recommened to remove it to avoid just this kind of situation.
A dollar in Roth is worth more than a dollar in a taxable account. A dollar in taxable is worth more than a dollar in a tax-deferred account.

island
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Re: Trust-Owned Vehicle?

Post by island » Sat Sep 03, 2016 5:33 pm

celia wrote:OP, Is the car registered as part of your family trust, by any chance? Opposing parties (or their lawyers) tend to see bigger dollar signs when they are in an accident with a company-owned or trust-owned vehicle. If your car is owned (on the title) by your trust, it is recommened to remove it to avoid just this kind of situation.


Not the OP, but great tip! Thank you Celia.

Do you think it's a good idea to have a checking account that is also not in a trust for paying for some services? I'm thinking of our lawn service guy and others we pay by check now and then. Tree trimming, pool service, roof or gutter repair, handman type of things.
We don't have our estate docs in place yet so currently nothing is listed as trust owned.
Last edited by island on Sat Sep 03, 2016 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

boglerdude
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Re: Help with potential lawsuit

Post by boglerdude » Sat Sep 03, 2016 5:34 pm

A dash cam would've shown the collision was not severe. Eventually they should be required in every vehicle.

Chicago60
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Re: Help with potential lawsuit

Post by Chicago60 » Sat Sep 03, 2016 5:46 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Chicago60 wrote:[

Nope, not settled by any means. I am sorry to inform you but the letter may be meaningless. Your insurance company supposedly did its own investigation and (not surprisingly) concluded the other driver was responsible for the accident (which seems inconsistent with the facts in the opening post--albeit with minimal if any damage) so it was "concluding" it would not be responsible to pay.


I think you misread that. The insurance said:

"the driver of your vehicle was determined to be principally at fault"

Doesn't say anything about the claim of the other driver having been settled, though.


Yep, misread. Thanks.

GreenGrowTheDollars
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Re: Help with potential lawsuit

Post by GreenGrowTheDollars » Sat Sep 03, 2016 6:36 pm

We had this happen with a very, very minor bump that didn't result in any more than a scratch on the bumper of the car D bumped at a light.

The other driver came back a month later and tried to claim a whole bunch of regular chiropractic visits had been necessary.

Our insurance company took care of it, and from what I heard from my insurance agent, didn't pay.

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celia
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Re: Trust-Owned Vehicle?

Post by celia » Sat Sep 03, 2016 7:27 pm

island wrote:
celia wrote:OP, Is the car registered as part of your family trust, by any chance? Opposing parties (or their lawyers) tend to see bigger dollar signs when they are in an accident with a company-owned or trust-owned vehicle. If your car is owned (on the title) by your trust, it is recommened to remove it to avoid just this kind of situation.


Not the OP, but great tip! Thank you Celia.

Do you think it's a good idea to have a checking account that is also not in a trust for paying for some services? I'm thinking of our lawn service guy and others we pay by check now and then. Tree trimming, pool service, roof or gutter repair, handman type of things.
We don't have our estate docs in place yet so currently nothing is listed as trust owned.

In my opinion only, the people who work around your house can get an idea of your limited/greater wealth just by seeing the house. They can also "zillow" it to get a ballpark idea. They will know this regardless of how they get paid.

Your checks don't have to say anything about the account being in a trust. (Ours don't.).
But this is a good question for your lawyer.
A dollar in Roth is worth more than a dollar in a taxable account. A dollar in taxable is worth more than a dollar in a tax-deferred account.

island
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Re: Trust-Owned Vehicle?

Post by island » Sat Sep 03, 2016 8:26 pm

celia wrote:
island wrote:
celia wrote:OP, Is the car registered as part of your family trust, by any chance? Opposing parties (or their lawyers) tend to see bigger dollar signs when they are in an accident with a company-owned or trust-owned vehicle. If your car is owned (on the title) by your trust, it is recommened to remove it to avoid just this kind of situation.


Not the OP, but great tip! Thank you Celia.

Do you think it's a good idea to have a checking account that is also not in a trust for paying for some services? I'm thinking of our lawn service guy and others we pay by check now and then. Tree trimming, pool service, roof or gutter repair, handman type of things.
We don't have our estate docs in place yet so currently nothing is listed as trust owned.

In my opinion only, the people who work around your house can get an idea of your limited/greater wealth just by seeing the house. They can also "zillow" it to get a ballpark idea. They will know this regardless of how they get paid.

Your checks don't have to say anything about the account being in a trust. (Ours don't.).
But this is a good question for your lawyer.


True. Thanks Celia

jsapiandante
Posts: 68
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 5:58 pm

Re: Help with potential lawsuit

Post by jsapiandante » Sat Sep 03, 2016 11:06 pm

I doubt this case will affect you. But if you need to revise your policy limit in case of what happens in the future, you should do so. Couple of things that will complicate this to the plaintiff who's trying to sue you: it is whether he sought treatment right after the accident and/or if he can justify that his injury is more serious than the usual sprain/strain that's caused by minor accidents along with reports from medical specialists saying so. If he's claiming his injuries now a year after the accident, your insurance should fight tooth and nail for you to deny his claim. Not sure what state you're in as each state varies. But I wouldn't be too worried. Good luck!

Minty
Posts: 104
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:19 pm

Re: Help with potential lawsuit

Post by Minty » Sun Sep 04, 2016 2:59 am

One way to take the temperature of this situation is to figure out if the other driver merely filed a claim or has actually retained a lawyer to pursue a lawsuit. The latter is more serious, of course. I like anonyvestor's advice, but it is costly.
Core Four with nominal bonds and TIPS.

likegarden
Posts: 2412
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:33 pm

Re: Help with potential lawsuit

Post by likegarden » Sun Sep 04, 2016 7:58 am

The other driver very likely had no injury at all.
I compare that to my wife and grandson getting rear ended in their large type sedan at low speed by a car at much higher speed. Wife and grandson had no injury, but were checked at a hospital as precaution. The other car was a compact and had its front demolished, whereas our larger car had a $4000 bumper damage.

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