Every car insurance policy has coverage limits that cap the amount of compensation available after an accident. When a collision results in a permanent disability or serious property damage, or when several people are injured, the coverage limits might not be enough to pay for all the damages incurred.
Fortunately, if you were hurt in an accident and the at-fault party’s insurance coverage is too low to pay for your losses, there are several potential ways to recover the compensation you need to pay for hospital bills, lost income, and other damages. The best course of action depends on the specifics of your case, but here are a few options to consider:
1. File a Claim Against Your Uninsured Motorist Policy
If you have UM coverage, it should help cover the difference if the driver who hit you doesn’t have enough insurance to pay for your damages. UM policies usually cover bodily injury and property damage up to the policy limits.
2. File a Claim Against the At-Fault Driver
It may be possible for you to hold the at-fault driver personally liable for the damages that were not covered by his or her insurance policy. Unfortunately, most people do not have the money or assets to pay for the medical bills, lost wages, and property damage incurred by accident victims. If you intend to pursue this option, you should consider hiring a personal injury attorney to perform an investigation into the at-fault driver’s finances.
3. Identify Other Liable Parties
Even if it seems clear that the other driver’s negligence caused your accident, you may have grounds for a claim against another party. For instance, if the driver was operating the vehicle in the scope of his or her employment, you might have grounds for a claim against the driver’s employer. In this situation, you may be able to tap into the employer’s insurance coverage to pay for your damages.
In rare cases, a government entity can also be held responsible for damages incurred in an accident. This may be the case if poor road conditions contributed to your crash.
Consult an Attorney to Discuss Your Options
If you’ve already incurred significant hospital bills and lost income, the thought of hiring an attorney might not be all that appealing. But with so much on the line, it might be in your best interests to consult a seasoned personal injury lawyer who understands the laws and procedures that govern car accident claims in your state.
Not only can your attorney help you identify all potential options for pursuing compensation, but he or she can also gather the evidence needed to strengthen your claim. Your lawyer can handle the paperwork and logistics of your case so you don’t make any mistakes that would derail your case. Finally, your attorney can calculate your damages and handle settlement negotiations so you don’t wind up accepting a payout that is lower than what you deserve. Ultimately, the cost of legal counsel could be far less than would you might lose if you attempt to handle the claims process alone.