You were driving down the road to pick up groceries when suddenly a car doing about 65 comes crashing into you. You decide to file a claim so that you can get compensated for your injuries, including your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and quality of life losses. In order to properly get reimbursement for the damages that you sustained, you will usually have to rely upon the insurance company of the other driver. The value of your claim is the total of what you can collect. It depends on many factors, including the injuries you suffered and the amount of the insurance policy the other driver has available to them to pay the claim. In most scenarios, the realistic maximum amount of money that can be collected—regardless of the injury—is the amount of insurance policy. It plays a significant part in a car accident case and policy limits determine the total amount of money that an insurance company may pay. Read on for information on how insurance policy limits impact your car accident value.
California does not recognize “no-fault” laws. Therefore, a preliminary step in your car accident case, before you can recover damages, is determining that another driver is at fault. Multiple parties can be at fault and you can file against any or all of them. Even the plaintiff can be partially be at fault. California is a comparative negligence state, which means that a negligent plaintiff can still recover damages. However, the monetary amount is reduced by their degree of fault.
How Policy Limits Work
Whenever a motorist purchases liability insurance there is a policy limit; this is the maximum amount of money (for example, $50,000.00) that the insurance company will pay on behalf of that individual for damage that they caused in an accident. If you’re in an accident with this motorist, their insurer is only legally obligated to cover $50,000.00 for your injuries, even if your medical costs, and other expenses exceeds $50,000.00. This is the usual outcome even if you reject the settlement, go to court, and are awarded more than the policy limits by a judge or jury.
Collection that Exceeds Insurance Policy Limits
The issue then becomes, how do you collect a judgment from the at-fault driver who likely doesn’t have substantial assets to cover your injuries. In most cases, the most that your claim is worth is the total of all insurance policies covering the accident. This also includes any “uninsured” or “underinsured” provisions that are present in a car insurance policy that you carry.
If You Need Help Getting Policy Limits or more, Talk to a PI Lawyer
When you file a claim against another driver, the insurance company is involved at every turn. They’re motivated by self-interest and want to pay you as little as possible. To fight this, you need a skilled personal injury attorney looking out for your interests. If you’ve been injured in an accident, get in touch with the experienced attorneys at Walton Law. Contact us right away.