Insurance policy limits
If you have a serious automobile accident and the other driver has insurance, it will become important for you to understand the issue of “policy limits”. While it may be possible (as outlined below) to collect excess damages from a defendant with assets, the fact is that insurance is often the only way for an injured person to obtain compensation.
Insurance claim limits are set by the upper limits of coverage in a policy provision. In most cases, limits are set individually for each type of coverage. Set limits occur both per person and per incident. Most states require a set minimum claim limit by law. Your insurance policy claim limit must be at least as high as the amount required by law. These minimums are nowhere near enough to cover your damages after a serious auto accident. That is why TheLawFirm.com strongly recommends you purchase UM/UIM.
When you purchase an insurance policy, your liability coverage will be expressed in a three digit ratio. For example, the ratio might be 50/100/25. Each of these numbers refers to the maximum amount, in thousands of dollars, that your insurance company will pay in a given situation.
The first number refers to the maximum amount of bodily injury protection covered for each individual injured person. The second number refers to the amount of bodily injury protection available per incident. The third number refers to the amount of property damage protection available per incident.
The attorneys at TheLawFirm.com recommend that you purchase more than the legal minimum in order to ensure your assets are fully protected in the event of an insurance claim. As stated above, we also recommend that you purchase UM/UIM in the event that the other driver does not have adequate insurance.
If you have been seriously injured after a car accident and the at fault driver doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your damages what can you do? Insurance companies generally only pay out to the policy limits. If a judge or jury awards more than these limits, this money will have to come from somewhere else.
Assuming there are no additional defendants to bring an additional lawsuit against, plaintiffs can either look for additional insurance (such as an umbrella policy) or try to collect from the defendant personally.
Umbrella policies are most common among corporate or business defendants, but some private individuals may have them too. One of the things that the attorneys at TheLawFirm.com do is understand all the insurance policies that may be in play for the defendant in your case.
If there is not enough insurance, you will have to try and collect directly from the defendant. This can be hard to do if the defendant does not have cash or assets to pay you. You may be able to go to court and get a judge to order wage garnishment or to place a lien on the defendant's properties, but this depends on the defendant having wages and having property to place a lien on. If a defendant has no money or assets, then a judgment in excess of the policy limits in such a case is not going to be collectible.
Please contact us at 1(855) 464-0808 or for a free legal evaluation of your claims today!
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