HB172: Insurance liability; disclosure of limits prior to filing a lawsuit.


HOUSE BILL NO. 172
AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE
(Proposed by the House Committee for Courts of Justice
on February 8, 2008)
(Patron Prior to Substitute--Delegate Kilgore)
A BILL to amend and reenact § 8.01-417 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the disclosure of insurance policy limits prior to the filing of a lawsuit.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That § 8.01-417 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 8.01-417. Copies of written statements or transcriptions of verbal statements by injured person to be delivered to him; copies of subpoenaed documents to be provided to other party.

A. Any person who takes from a person who has sustained a personal injury a signed written statement or voice recording of any statement relative to such injury shall deliver to such injured person a copy of such written statement forthwith or a verified typed transcription of such recording within 30 days from the date such statement was given or recording made, when and if the statement or recording is transcribed or in all cases when requested by the injured person or his attorney.

B. Unless otherwise ordered for good cause shown, when one party to a civil proceeding subpoenas documents, the subpoenaing party, upon receipt of the subpoenaed documents, shall, if requested in writing, provide true and full copies of the same to any other party or to the attorney for any other party, provided the other party or attorney for the other party pays the reasonable cost of copying or reproducing the subpoenaed documents. This provision does not apply where the subpoenaed documents are returnable to and maintained by the clerk of court in which the action is pending.

C. After he gives written notice that he represents an injured person, an attorney, or an individual injured in a motor vehicle accident if he is not represented by counsel, may, prior to the filing of a civil action for personal injuries sustained as a result of a motor vehicle accident, request by certified mail that the insurer disclose the limits of liability of any motor vehicle liability or any personal injury liability insurance policy which may be applicable to the claim. The requesting party shall provide the insurer with the date of the motor vehicle accident, the name and last known address of the alleged tortfeasor, a copy of the accident report, if any, and the claim number, if available. The insurer shall respond in writing within thirty days of receipt of the request, and shall disclose the limits of liability at the time of the accident of all such policies, regardless of whether the insurer contests the applicability of the policy to the injured person's claim. Information concerning the insurance policy is not by reason of disclosure pursuant to this subsection admissible as evidence at trial. 

HOUSE BILL NO. 172
Offered January 9, 2008
Prefiled December 26, 2007
A BILL to amend and reenact § 8.01-417 of the Code of Virginia, relating to copies of statements or transcriptions by injured person to be delivered to him; copies of subpoenaed documents to be provided.
Patron-- Kilgore

Committee Referral Pending

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That § 8.01-417 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 8.01-417. Copies of written statements or transcriptions of verbal statements by injured person to be delivered to him; copies of subpoenaed documents to be provided to other party.

A. Any person who takes from a person who has sustained a personal injury a signed written statement or voice recording of any statement relative to such injury shall deliver to such injured person a copy of such written statement forthwith or a verified typed transcription of such recording within 30 days from the date such statement was given or recording made, when and if the statement or recording is transcribed or in all cases when requested by the injured person or his attorney.

B. Unless otherwise ordered for good cause shown, when one party to a civil proceeding subpoenas documents, the subpoenaing party, upon receipt of the subpoenaed documents, shall, if requested in writing, provide true and full copies of the same to any other party or to the attorney for any other party, provided the other party or attorney for the other party pays the reasonable cost of copying or reproducing the subpoenaed documents. This provision does not apply where the subpoenaed documents are returnable to and maintained by the clerk of court in which the action is pending.

C. After he gives written notice that he represents an injured person, an attorney may, prior to the filing of a civil action for personal injuries sustained as a result of a motor vehicle accident, request from any person who has issued an insurance agreement as described in Rule 4:1(b)(2) of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, and that person shall disclose the limits of liability of such insurance agreement in writing within 30 days of the receipt of such request. The disclosure shall be made by sending a copy of the declarations page of such agreement or its equivalent setting forth the limits of liability. The disclosure shall be provided whether or not the person who issued the insurance agreement contests the applicability of the agreement to the injured person’s claim. Information concerning the insurance agreement is not by reason of disclosure pursuant to this subsection admissible as evidence in trial. Nothing in this subsection shall be deemed to abrogate the provisions of Rule 4:1(b)(2) of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia.