What Happens When a Car Accident Claim Exceeds Insurance Limits?

November 1, 2022 Blog

You’re driving along, and you get into a car accident that wasn’t your fault.

The other driver doesn’t have insurance or enough insurance to cover the damages, so what now?

If uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, your insurance company will step in and pay for the damages up to your policy limit.

But what happens if the damages exceed your policy limit?

How Insurance Policy Limits Work

car accident claim

In California, the minimum amount of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage required is $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. Property damage coverage is required at a minimum of $5,000.

When a liability claim exceeds the policy limits, there are a few different options.

  • One option is to sue the at-fault driver individually if they have assets that can be seized and sold to cover the excess damages.
  • Another option is to work directly with your own insurance company and negotiate for more coverage or file a claim under your umbrella policy.
  • Some cases might warrant suing more than one party to get the full amount of damages, such as adding other drivers if they were also involved in the accident.

Whatever your options, it’s important to consult with an attorney and work with an experienced insurance agent who can help you navigate this complex process and ensure that you’re getting the compensation you deserve.

Suing the At-Fault Driver

If the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the costs of your damages, you may consider suing them personally for any excess amount.

To do this, you’ll need to work with an attorney who can help you build a strong case and collect evidence to support your accident claim. This could include documentation of medical expenses, lost income, damaged property, and other financial losses.

If the driver has assets that can be seized to pay for damages, it’s important to know what those assets are and whether you have a strong case before moving forward with the lawsuit.

Working With Your Own Insurance Company

In many cases, your own insurance company may be able to offer additional coverage or help you file a claim under your umbrella policy.

Your insurance agent will be able to review your policy and determine the best course of action based on the type and amount of coverage that you have.

They can also work with you to negotiate for more compensation or file an appeal if you feel that your claim was unfairly denied.

Seeking Compensation from Multiple Parties

In some situations, it may be necessary to sue multiple parties to get the full amount of damages you’re owed. Not all situations will require this, but it’s important to work with an attorney and insurance agent who can help you evaluate your options and make the best decision.

Here are some types of personal injury claims that might involve more than one party:

  • A car accident involving multiple vehicles or drivers: In this case, it is possible that each driver may share some of the faults for the accident, and therefore each would be accountable for contributing to the damages.
  • A construction accident caused by negligence from multiple parties: Depending on the situation, it may be possible to hold multiple parties liable for any damages. For example, a construction site owner could be held responsible for failing to maintain a safe work environment and equipment, while an engineer or contractor might be held responsible for a faulty design or negligent oversight.
  • A medical malpractice case involving multiple doctors: In this case, it may be possible to hold multiple parties responsible for contributing to the damages. For example, a doctor might be liable if they fail to diagnose or treat a condition properly, while another doctor could be responsible for failing to supervise them adequately.
  • Vicarious liability: In some cases, businesses or other organizations may be held liable for the actions of their employees or contractors. This can happen in a wide range of situations, including things like car accidents caused by negligent delivery drivers or harassment from an employee at a restaurant.

No matter your personal injury case, it’s important to work with a qualified personal injury lawyer who can help you navigate the process and get the compensation you deserve. With their support, you can rest assured that your rights are protected and that you’re getting the best possible outcome for your situation.

How is the at-fault driver determined?

There are a few different factors that can be taken into account when determining who is at fault for an accident. These can include things like driving records, witness statements, the police report of the incident, and an analysis of any damage to vehicles or property.

In some cases, it may also be necessary to consult with accident reconstruction experts or other professionals who can help determine the cause and liability of the incident.

Depending on your situation, you may need to work with a personal injury lawyer who can help build a strong case and collect evidence to support your claim. This could include documentation of medical expenses, lost income, damaged property, and more.

Ultimately, it is up to the courts or an insurance company to determine who is at fault for a given accident based on all of the evidence that has been presented.

Bad Faith Insurance Claims

Bad faith accident claims occur when an insurer intentionally denies or delays a claim to save money, even when they know the claim is valid. This can be very frustrating and stressful for those who are trying to get compensation after an accident or other incident.

Some of the common signs that an insurer may be acting in bad faith include:

  • Delays or denials of claims without a reasonable explanation, especially for legitimate claims that should be covered by insurance
  • Significant delays in processing and paying out claims, even when there is no good reason for them
  • Refusal to pay valid claims or offer a reasonable settlement amount, even when the evidence clearly shows that the claim is valid

Our experienced Bakersfield, California, car accident and personal injury lawyers can help if you are facing a bad faith insurance claim. We will work with you to build a strong legal case, gather evidence to support your accident claim, and advocate on your behalf to get the compensation that you deserve.