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being sued or $123,000.00 by insurance company

Discussion in 'Life Insurance, Annuities & Other' started by U13389, Jun 2, 2009.

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  1. U13389

    U13389 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    A property that my roommate and I were renting was in a fire. The insurance company is seeking a lawsuit as negligence on my our part. The Company is a debt collection/ law office. Do you think this law group is just trying to get me to settle, at an amount to get paid? what should I do? they have not yet filed a suit against me yet. I think they are just trying to scare me so that I would settle and just move on.
     
  2. Betty3

    Betty3 Super Moderator

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    In a case like this, I would not do anything until a lawsuit is actually filed & then get an attorney.

    Old thread - answered for reference purposes.
     
  3. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Maybe... I actually have a friend who had a situation exactly like this one. The facts are very important. I'll tell you hers.

    My friend had a plug running under a door that led to a lamp. She told me that the wiring in the building was terrible and, as a result, she had to have extension cords run throughout from the power sockets that worked. One day she returned to her building to find her apartment covered in ashes. Almost all of her belongings had smoke and dust rendering them worthless. What was most important was the NYFD (fire department) report that stated evidence of the probable cause of the fire, which they assumed was a faulty extension cord. There was a question of negligence but very difficult for the company to actually pin any solid negligent act on her. Furthermore, she informed me that there were at least 2 other electrical fires in the building. This would suggest negligence by the landlord or their managing agents.

    In short, had there been evidence that would have clearly shown a negligent act (smoking, use of equipment that is clearly unsafe, etc.) then getting involved in a lawsuit might not be the right approach. At that point it would only be a matter of time and the attorneys will demand their work be compensated as well. When the dollar value is high (realistically and not inflated) and the risk of litigation is also high, it could be a good idea to retain an attorney to try a quick settlement. If you're going to do this yourself, you need to have a tight lip and be very smart about how to determine what the law firm is thinking. Note that many landlords will send issues like this directly to their firm. This isn't usually a case of a landlord selling a debt to a bill collector or collection agency.
     
  4. Betty3

    Betty3 Super Moderator

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    My thinking was that if the OP & friend did not do anything negligent, why would they settle to pay anything? Why not wait until they are sued (I was thinking they "may not" even be) & then defend themselves in court with an attorney.

    However; after reading your post & the OP's again, I don't guess the ins. co. would sue unless they have proof of negligence on the OP & his friend's part. Settlement might be best in that case. In a case like this, it probably would be best to obtain an attorney right away. We, of course, don't have complete facts.

    Thanks for your post.
     

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