After a car accident, the car insurance company of the at-fault driver is responsible for paying medical expenses and other damages to victims up to the insurance policy limits. However, there are situations when insurance coverage is insufficient. This usually happens in cases where there are major injuries that demand expensive medical care.
If the damage from your car accident exceeds the policy limits, you may be left with astronomical medical expenses and the inability to work again. So, what can you do if the at-fault driver’s insurance policy is exhausted?
If you have experienced significant injuries in a motor vehicle collision, it is best to speak with a Greenville personal injury attorney from David R. Price, Jr., P.A., Attorneys at Law, to help you explore your options in detail.
Is It Possible To Get Compensation Beyond The Car Insurance Policy Limits?
Sometimes it is possible to get recover compensation beyond the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits. An experienced car accident attorney can help you maximize your recovery according to the unique circumstances of your case.
An attorney will help you analyze the available options to get compensation above specific policy limits in particular situations. Approaches include:
Bringing legal action against the negligent motorist
If your damages exceed the insurance policy limitations of the at-fault party, your only option could be to seek compensation directly from the negligent driver. This may be difficult to accomplish if the defendant lacks the resources to reimburse you.
If you obtain a judgment against the at-fault driver, you can petition the court to place a lien on the driver’s assets if they have property or income. Unfortunately, if the defendant truly has no money or assets, a judgment exceeding the insurance limitations will be highly difficult.
Utilizing the umbrella policy of a defendant
If an umbrella liability policy exists, you could recover further damages from the defendant’s umbrella policy. After the primary liability insurance pays its limits, umbrella liability policies take effect. However, individuals are less likely to have umbrella policies than corporations, unless those persons already have a lot of assets.
Your lawyer can help you identify and determine all of the liability coverage available to the defendant, so you can use as many tools as possible to guarantee a fair settlement.
Making a claim for an underinsured motorist
The insurance company for the defendant will still only pay up to the policy limits, even if your medical expenses exceed the amount of available insurance. Fortunately, you may have your own insurance available to you in such a case. Underinsured motorist (“UIM”) coverage protects the driver in an event where the negligent driver’s insurance is insufficient to cover all of an injured person’s losses.
Suing multiple defendants in a lawsuit
Multiple parties may share blame in a car accident. This is particularly true in collisions involving multiple vehicles in which the conduct of several drivers caused the accident. In such a case, you have the right to claim compensation from the insurance companies for all responsible drivers, up to the limits of each policy.
Automakers may also be held liable if one of their products was defective and contributed to an accident or made your injuries worse. An employer may also be held liable for an employee who causes an accident while on the job. In either instance, there would be additional defendants that could be added into the suit.
Contact Our Personal Injury Attorneys in Greenville, SC Today About Your Car Accident Claim
Even if you have serious injuries, t may be difficult to obtain sufficient compensation and establish that your case is worth more than the liability insurance policy coverage. You should always speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer to improve your chances of fair compensation. Our lawyers will fight for you and help you explore your options for maximum settlement for your damages.
David R. Price, Jr., P.A. Attorneys at Law can manage your insurance claims, compile a case for reasonable compensation, and represent you throughout your entire case. Call us at 864-271-2636 or contact us online for a free consultation about your car accident claim.
Car Insurance Case FAQs
How frequently do settlements for auto accidents exceed policy limits?
Car accident settlements rarely go beyond the applicable auto liability and UIM insurance limits, but it does happen occasionally. In most cases, this is only feasible when substantial evidence supports severe injuries and losses and the insurance company acted in bad faith by failing to tender its policy limits when given an opportunity.
What is the maximum amount that I can sue for after a car accident?
There is no limit on the amount a jury can award an injured party for actual damages in a lawsuit. Typically, a person may have difficulty recovering their judgment beyond the policy limits of the at-fault driver’s auto insurance. But in some cases, you may be eligible to receive additional payments from the driver, the driver’s umbrella or excess liability policy, your UIM insurance policy, or other at-fault parties.
David Price is a Personal Injury, Civil Litigation, Collections, and Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law, and has been practicing law for 12 years. David Price believes in helping those who have been injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.