Wait—My Insurance Company WON’T Tell Me I’m About to Be Sued?
If your automobile insurance company had information that you were about to be sued, you would probably like to know. However, they may not ever share this information with you. As odd as it sounds, it is true. We see it every day.
Imagine you’re driving and you get in a wreck. The person in the other vehicle, John, seeks medical attention. He visits his doctor and goes to rehabilitation. John has medical bills and has experienced pain and suffering. John has incurred $10,000 in medical costs. John believes that you are at fault for the wreck and hires an attorney. You may be thinking, “Well, I am glad I’ve paid my insurance premiums. That’s what I have insurance for!” But the reality is, you may not even know this process is going on and you may not even find out about it until you’re personally served with the lawsuit naming you as a defendant.
Typically, the attorney for John will contact your insurance company and speak to the insurance adjuster. John’s attorney will try to negotiate a fair settlement for John. But, for whatever reason, the adjuster for your insurance company decides the company should only pay a portion of John’s medical bills.
John’s attorney tells your insurance adjuster that John will have to file a lawsuit.
Unfortunately, your own insurance company may not even tell you that the lawsuit is about to be filed. This is even more significant when you consider the fact that your insurance company will not be named as a defendant. Instead, you, individually, will be the one named in the lawsuit. Furthermore, you will be required to respond to written questions in the lawsuit. You will be required to attend a deposition during the lawsuit. These are obligations you will face if your insurance company fails to reach an agreement before a lawsuit is filed.
Even more startling is the fact that most insurance companies don’t want you to know that you’re about to be sued. Plaintiff’s attorneys who have reached out to individuals who do not yet have an attorney to warn them they are about to be sued have been threatened with lawsuits and bar complaints by attorneys for the insurance companies. The insurance defense attorneys making such threats do not think your insurance company has an obligation to you to let you know about the possibility of a lawsuit. Sometimes they seem to have forgotten that they work for you. It seems like common sense: we would expect a company that works for us would let us know we might be sued. Unfortunately, that is often not the case with automobile insurance companies.