Q: Multiple vehicle accident in CA, vehicles who did NOT hit me want my insurance limits information, do I give it?
There was a multiple vehicle rear end accident in a lane next to me. A vehicle trying to avoid it turned into my lane and hit me. Now the other drivers who didnt hit me or vice versa are reaching out to my insurance for coverage information. I dont see why I should let my insurance give them my limits since I never actually collided with any of them. CHP report shows I was at no fault and only hit by one car. Should I let my insurance give them my coverage limits?
A: If you were not at fault there is no reason to give your policy limits. On the other hand not giving it might make them think you did have some fault. If someone is coming after you then your insurance company will provide you with an attorney who you can consult with. If you are included in any lawsuit then they can find out your policy information through a subpoena.
A: Sorry to hear about your accident. Sounds like you came through it ok, and that's a good thing. The answer to your question is, "No". Pass on any and all correspondence and/or requests to your insurance carrier. They will deal with it all directly. Don't get involved in talking to other parties. If you need a lawyer or other advice, your carrier will hire somebody, or already has somebody, to assist.
I have represented both injured parties and defendants over 24 years, which I have seen insureds refuse to disclose insurance limits in pre-litigation, and nevertheless get sued and those, who disclosed their insurance limits in pre-litigation and don't get sued.
I have represented high-net-work clients, who have been involved in catastrophic accidents to ensure their insurance carriers protect their assets. I also represent catastrophic injured persons. Since I have worn both hats, I see the pros and cons in disclosing your insurance coverage during pre-litigation. Given the accident you described, the attorney(s) for injured person(s) are likely casting a wide net over all potential sources of insurance, including your insurance. Frankly, when an accident involves multiple vehicles, you should consider that an industrious attorney can potentially come up with an expert and theory of liability placing some legal responsibility on you.
When deciding to disclose or not disclose your limits in pre-litigation, you should keep in mind that under California law, economic damages are joint and several, meaning, for example, if you are even 1% at fault and the other defendants are a combined 99% at fault, an injured person may seek recovery of all their economic damages (e.g., medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, etc.) against you.
You paid for insurance to protect your personal assets, and your carrier has a fiduciary duty to protect your interests, including settling a case pre-litigation to avoid a judgment against you in excess of your policy limits. My experience is that insurance carriers don't readily pay or frequently payout monies on frivolous claims. Based on everything I have seen in litigation, the insured, in my experience, fairs better when there is a pre-litigation disclosure of policy limits, because it tends to facilitate a settlement, which protects the insured's personal assets (the reason you paid for insurance in the first place). This is my opinion, and I certainly can see others disagreeing with me.
Please keep in mind this is a general discussion on this subject matter and is no substitute for you retaining an attorney, who will review your particular case and evidence to provide you with an opinion.
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