Getting hit by another car is a nightmare. From the actual accident to the medical treatments, from repairing your car to dealing with insurance, it’s all a major hassle. But a relatively simple accident can become a huge pain when the other driver’s insurance company doesn’t want to cooperate. When you file a third-party claim with the other person’s insurer, you expect a reply. But what happens when you are trying to achieve a settlement but you can’t learn anything about the other driver’s policy? It is hard to argue that you have a valid claim and negotiate without more information like what their policy actually pays for and how much. Without any of this knowledge, you’re in the dark while the insurer is fully informed.
If you were in an auto accident and are having a hard time working with an insurance company, call the experienced Chicago personal injury attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. right away. Sometimes the only way to get the information you need is by having a lawyer involved and being ready to go to court in the event that the insurer won’t settle.
It can be a challenge to work with an insurance company other than your own because the insurer’s rights and duties toward you are different than if you were a customer. You don’t have a contract with that insurer so there are limits to what they have to tell you. If you were that company’s client, they would have a duty to be honest with you about the policy. They could not use their superior knowledge of their policies and insurance law to take advantage of you.
But since you are not the client, what do they owe you? It is clear the insurer doesn’t have to tell you everything, and some companies won’t tell you anything. Many insurers will decide to not respond to requests for policy limits because it benefits them to have this knowledge while you, the claimant, does not. The insurance company can avoid telling you the policy limit until you file a lawsuit and seek the information through discovery. Only when the information is compelled by discovery must the insurer reveal the information to you.
However, Illinois law dictates that an insurer has a duty to settle in certain circumstances, which you can use in your favor.
Due to Illinois case law, insurers have a duty to settle when:
These rules do not mean that the insurer is required to tell you the insured’s policy limit. However, it may be in the insurance company’s best interests to do so if you have made it clear that a settlement offer within the policy limits would probably be reasonable to you. Insurance companies don’t want to spend more money than they have to, but they often want to avoid going to court. You should work with an experienced attorney who is willing to fight to gain this information for you without heading to court right away.
If you are trying to recover from an auto accident, call a Chicago personal injury attorney at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at to learn your rights and how you can negotiate a settlement agreement.