Options for Recovering More Than the Insurance Policy Limits of an At-Fault Driver
People who suffer an injury due to the negligence of another person have the right to pursue compensation for their damages. If the claim is successful, compensation is generally paid out by the liable driver’s insurance company. But what happens when there is not enough insurance to cover the cost of your damages?
Our car accident lawyers in Brunswick are prepared to review your claim and discuss your legal options for recovering the compensation you need to cover the full cost of your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.
Understanding Insurance Policy Limits in Georgia
Georgia is an at-fault state, which means every licensed driver in the state is required to carry liability insurance for any bodily injury or property damage caused in an accident.
The minimum liability insurance limits in the state are as follows:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 for property damage
Although some drivers may purchase higher limits than the minimum state requirements, the insurance company is under no legal obligation to pay out more than the limits of a policy.
Seeking Compensation from Other Liable Parties
There are some accidents in which more than one driver may be at fault.
For example, if you were injured in a multi-vehicle accident, we may be able to file a claim through each at-fault driver’s insurance policy to help cover the full cost of your damages.
Other parties besides drivers may also be liable for your damages, depending on the facts of your claim, such as:
- Vehicle owners
- Product manufacturers
- Government entities or municipalities
- Property owners
Our attorneys are prepared to thoroughly investigate the facts of your claim and help determine what third parties may hold liability for your injuries to help you pursue the compensation you need.
Filing a Claim Through Your Underinsured Motorist Policy
If your injuries may only be attributed to one other driver and that person’s policy limits do not cover the full costs of your damages, you may be able to file a claim under your Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UIM) policy.
Georgia law requires every insurance carrier to offer UIM coverage, but a person has the right to reject this coverage in writing. Before you can file a claim through UIM, our attorneys may need to review your own insurance policy and see if you have this type of coverage.
It is also important to note that filing a claim through UIM only allows you to recover economic damages, such as medical bills and lost wages, but does not cover non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
Filing a Lawsuit for Bad Faith
As an insurance policyholder, a driver and the insurer have a contractual agreement that states that in the event of an accident, the insurance company would step into the shoes of the at-fault driver and pay the cost of damages, up to the limits of the policy.
When the insurance company fails to pay out a claim without providing a reasonable cause, there may be grounds to file a lawsuit for bad faith insurance practices.
Filing a bad faith insurance lawsuit may involve some more complex factors that should be discussed with an experienced attorney.
Filing a Lawsuit Directly Against the At-Fault Driver
In a case where there is not enough insurance to cover the extent of your damages, our attorneys may be able to help you file a lawsuit directly against the at-fault driver.
Our attorneys may be able to conduct an asset search on the at-fault driver. This may be necessary to help determine whether filing a lawsuit would be worth the costs. This is generally a last resort because people who do not have high liability limits may not have assets worth pursuing.
Get Advice from a Licensed Attorney. Call Us Today
If you were injured in an accident that left you with severe injuries and the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits are not enough to cover all your damages, you should speak to a licensed attorney as soon as possible.
The attorneys at Roden Law know what legal avenues may be available to you and are prepared to pursue compensation on your behalf. There are no upfront fees and we do not charge you anything while we work on your case.