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New York Insurance Cases--Do You Need A Private Attorney?
Our White Plains, New York office gets numerous calls and e-mails from clients confronted with a scenario in which they have been sued for more than their insurance coverage, and they receive a notice from the insurance company stating the following: "You may wish to retain a private attorney at your own cost and expense to protect your interests over and above your insurance coverage..." For example, we have represented an orthopedist who was sued for medical malpractice in Brooklyn, New York with a claim of serious injuries as a result of improper back surgery; a client in a Westchester County motor vehicle accident who had a minimal insurance policy ($25,000) and was being sued for more than $1,000,000; and the owner of a beer and beverage mart who was sued in a Dutchess County wrongful death case by the parents of some underage teens in which the teens bought beer at the mart and served the beer at a "keg party", resulting in the intoxication of a underaged partygoer who lost control of his car and was then involved in a horrific accident causing his death and serious injuries to four other teens.
The answer as to whether you need a private attorney involves a few significant factors. To begin with, in the case involving the Westchester County driver, one of the big issues was whether the injuries were serious enough to result in a verdict which could exceed the car insurance policy limits. In that Westchester County car crash case, the answer to the question was yes, as the policy limits were the smallest available in New York, and the injuries included a broken leg, which without question could result in a verdict of more than $25,000.
From New York Legal Blog posted 2008-02-25.