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Bill would give early disclosure of policy limits

The Virginia Trial Lawyers Association appears likely to get one of its principal legislative objectives for the year.

House Bill 172 allows plaintiffs’ attorneys to get the policy limits of a potential defendant before filing suit. The VTLA had to give a little, however. It accepted an amendment that would attorneys must give the insurer proof of medical bills or lost wages totaling at least $12,500 before the policy limits must be disclosed.

The measure cleared the House by a 55-43 vote before the $12,500 provision was added and passed 15-0 in the Senate Courts of Justice Committee yesterday. Chris LaGow, a lobbyist for insurers, said they did not oppose the bill.

VTLA President Chuck Zauzig said the measure is a common sense proposal that will let everyone know the practical limits of recovery and encourage early settlement.

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