Tag Archives: insurance claims

What Happens When a Car Accident Claim Exceeds Insurance Limits?

If you experienced injuries and losses as a result of a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, most victims understand that they have the legal right to receive compensation from an insurance company for their medical bills, loss of wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. However, in some cases, a car accident is catastrophic with severe injuries and losses. As a result, the car accident claim of the victim exceeds insurance limits. If you filed a personal injury claim, learn more about your legal rights regarding what to do if you claim exceeds the negligent party’s insurance limits.

Car Insurance Policy Limits

Every person will have a different insurance company and a different insurance policy within that company, which offers different coverage limits. While every driver must have the minimum amount of coverage under the law of their state to operate a motor vehicle legally, there are often different levels of coverage to choose from by a policyholder. If a car accident policy only allows for a $50,000 limit for the personal injuries of a victim, what happens when the victim suffers such severe injuries that their medical bills exceed that amount? The insurance company does not have a legal obligation to pay any amount of compensation to a victim in excess of the policyholder’s limits, which may make obtaining full and fair compensation unattainable through the insurance policy alone.

California Insurance Policy Minimum Standards

According to California Insurance Code §11580.1b, the following are the minimum amounts of insurance coverage that every driver in the state must legally carry:

The minimum coverage amount of $15,000 for injury to one person involved in a car accident in California is quite low. Therefore, a victim must look to other options in order to reimburse their costs for medical bills, lost wages and property damage.

Options When a Car Accident Claim Exceeds Insurance Limits

If you suffered injuries or losses in a car accident and your economic and non-economic losses exceed those covered by the negligent party’s insurance policy, the following are some legal options available to you:

  • File a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party for the remainder of your losses
  • Attempt to recover additional compensation from your own insurance policy, if possible
  • File a personal injury lawsuit against another defendant who has legal liability with respect to the car accident, if applicable
  • File a claim under an “umbrella policy” held by a negligent party, if the negligent party is a larger business or corporate entity, such as a trucking company or business that the driver operated a motor vehicle for at the time of the accident

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

You have many legal options available to you following a car accident in which your claim exceeds the negligent party’s insurance limits. Learn more about your options by contacting an experienced car accident attorney at The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose at 415-946-8900 or online today.