When it comes to collecting injury compensation beyond the insurance policy limits, you’ll need to either file a claim with another insurance policy — such as an umbrella policy or an underinsured motorist policy — or take legal action.
Car accidents often cause drivers and passengers to sustain serious injuries, which may require costly medical treatment including surgeries, prescriptions, physical therapy, and more. Additionally, car accident victims often suffer temporary or permanent disabilities that impair their ability to work.
Fortunately, if you suffer a personal injury from a car crash caused by another driver, you have every right to file a claim with their auto insurance.
But what happens when your vehicle damages and personal injuries are more costly than the driver’s insurance limits?
If you need legal assistance after suffering from a car accident in Indianapolis, contact Crossen Law Firm. We can help you recover the compensation you deserve for medical bills, lost wages, loss of future earnings, pain and suffering, and more.
Insurance Policies and Car Insurance Limits
Limited liability car insurance policies have a cap on the total amount of damages that victims can recover, and many drivers lack sufficient coverage to pay for expenses associated with personal injuries.
Indiana drivers are required to have a minimum amount of insurance coverage in the event of an accident. This includes $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for bodily injury for multiple people per accident, and $10,000 for property damage per accident. If you suffer from a serious personal injury that requires extensive surgeries and ongoing treatment, your expenses will likely exceed this $25,000 threshold.
Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to recover more than the car insurance liability limits. Auto insurance companies are not legally obligated to provide more coverage than what’s included in the policy, and these companies will usually do whatever it takes to undervalue your claim rather than reward you with money not included in the policy.
If you suffer from a personal injury that exceeds the other driver’s car insurance liability limits, you should check to see if the negligent driver has another insurance policy that may cover your expenses. Some drivers hold secondary insurance policies in addition to their standard car insurance. For example, some drivers have umbrella policies, which offer coverage extending beyond the driver’s basic car insurance.
Recovering Compensation Through Your Underinsured Motorist Coverage
In the event that the other driver doesn’t have sufficient insurance to cover your expenses, you may be able to recover compensation through your own insurance company. In Indiana, auto insurance companies are required to offer drivers the option to obtain underinsured motorist coverage.
Indiana drivers are not obligated to add underinsured motorist coverage to their policies, but many residents do have this additional protection. When a liable driver is uninsured or underinsured, you can file a claim through your own policy if you have underinsured motorist coverage.
If you’re unable to recover the full compensation amount you deserve when filing a claim, you can take legal action to recover damages.
When to File a Lawsuit Against an Insurance Company
If you don’t receive the full compensation included in the at-fault driver’s insurance policy, you may want to consider filing a lawsuit against the insurance company. Insurance adjusters and companies frequently attempt to undervalue claims to save money, so they may try to make the case that your injuries are not serious or costly.
When an insurance company is unwilling to pay for expenses associated with your personal injury, litigation may be your best option to recover compensation.
Suing the Negligent Driver
When the at-fault driver’s policy doesn’t cover your personal injury expenses, you can file a lawsuit against them. You can also file a lawsuit against the owner of the vehicle if the liable driver was using another person’s car.
Although this may be a good option for some drivers and car owners, only some have significant enough assets to pay for medical bills and other personal injury expenses. Even if you win the case, you may have difficulty recovering substantial compensation.
You may be able to receive payment for personal injury expenses through the liable party’s possessions, but it’s important to note that some of the defendant’s assets are protected from seizure, including their primary home and vehicle. If the liable party has additional vehicles or properties, you may be able to recover money through the sale of those assets.
Your personal injury judgment may give you a lien on the at-fault person’s real estate property, but they are not obligated to immediately sell their property to pay you damages. You may have an easier time recovering compensation from the sale of other assets, such as vehicles.
Holding a Different Party Legally Responsible
Negligent drivers are often solely responsible for car accidents, but this is not always the case. Multiple parties could be at fault if they contributed to the wreck. For example, if a car malfunctioned and contributed to or caused the accident, a mechanic or manufacturer could be liable.
Additionally, an Indiana municipality could be partially or wholly liable for your wreck if it failed to maintain safe road conditions. If you plan on suing the state of Indiana for your accident, you have 270 days after the incident to file, and you have only 180 days to file against an Indiana city or county.
Contact an Indianapolis Car Accident Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve suffered from personal injuries caused by a car accident and are now struggling to recover the money you deserve, you need to contact Indianapolis car accident personal injury attorneys who can fight on your behalf. When Collecting injury compensation beyond the insurance policy limits, seasoned car accident attorneys can help you prove your case and increase the amount of compensation you can recover.
For support in Indianapolis personal injury cases, contact the Crossen Law Firm legal team. We have years of experience fighting for injured Indiana residents, and we’ll work to maximize the damages you can receive for your injuries. Call us today at 317-401-8626, or you can contact us online.