Can I Recover More Than the Insurance Policy Limits?

2021-09-30 13:54:00
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Dollar signs in an increasing orderAs the victim of an accident caused by another party’s negligence, you may be able to recover the compensation you need for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

However, there are some instances when the insurance policy limits of the liable party may be less than the value of a claim.

If you find yourself in a situation like this, our auto accident attorneys in Sacramento are prepared to review all your legal options to see how you may still be able to recover the full value of your claim.

The consultation is free and there are no fees unless we win.

What is the Minimum Insurance Requirement in California?

In California, drivers are required to carry at least the following auto insurance coverage minimums:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage: $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability coverage: $5,000

Insurers are required to offer the following coverages to California drivers, which may then be waived by the policyholder in writing:

  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage: $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident
  • Uninsured motorist property damage coverage: $3,500

While these are the minimum legal requirements, it is important to keep in mind that drivers often purchase higher limits depending on their insurance needs.

Significance of Policy Limits

Insurance policies have a limit that helps define the cutoff for what insurance companies pay out when an insured person is sued.

Unfortunately, despite many drivers purchasing higher policy limits, the insurance companies rarely offer the maximum available to injury victims, even if the person suffered serious injuries.

Options For Recovering Compensation Above the Policy Limits

There may be some other options for recovering the full value of your claim even if the insurance policy has a lower limit than what your damages are worth.

Filing a Claim with Your Underinsured Motorist Coverage

If your damages exceed the insurance policy limits, you could file a claim against your own insurance. Your underinsured motorist coverage may provide compensation, up to the policy limits, to cover the difference between the full value of your claim and the limits of the at-fault driver’s insurance.

You never know who you may get into an accident with, so it is important to buy as much uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage as you can afford. Otherwise, you may have significant out-of-pocket costs after a crash.

Filing a Claim with Other Liable Parties

If there were other parties involved in your accident, you may be able to file multiple third-party claims. If you can prove the other parties’ liability, you may be able to recover compensation for the full value of your claim.

For example, if your car accident involves multiple vehicles and results in $50,000 worth of damages, but each driver only has a $25,000 policy, you may still be able to recover the full $50,000.

Filing a Claim Against an Umbrella Policy

Some drivers carry umbrella policies that add extra liability coverage over and above the liability coverage in their auto insurance. If the at-fault driver or one of the at-fault drivers has this coverage, you may be able to file a claim against it. However, people usually only buy these policies when they have significant assets to protect.

Need Help Maximizing Your Compensation? Call Us Today

If you were injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, but there is not enough insurance to cover the full cost of your damages, our attorneys may be able to help you determine all your options for recovering compensation.

We offer a free consultation to discuss your claim to see what legal options may be available to you. There are no upfront fees and we do not charge you anything unless we successfully recover compensation on your behalf.

Call us today at (916) 777-7777.