Car accidents can have life-altering consequences and may result in long-lasting medical bills. Among proving fault, battling the insurance company is just one of the many obstacles you will face after the accident. Many clients aren’t aware of the limitations of their car insurance policy and how this will impact their recovery.
When someone is injured in an accident involving a commercial vehicle, there is often plenty of insurance coverage to compensate the victim. This is typically not the case with smaller personal insurance policies. Understanding how auto insurance policies work can help you understand your coverages.
Rare is the liability insurance policy that does not have limits. This means that the insurance company will not pay more than the limits that have been set on the policy, regardless of whether your injury claim is more.
You can sue for any amount; however, you may not get a judge or jury to award that amount. Even if you win your lawsuit, it’s important to remember that the funds have to be available for collection. If the other party has a relatively small insurance policy, you may not be able to collect. While you may win a huge amount legally, you may only practically be able to collect if sufficient insurance proceeds are available.
There are typically two types of bodily injury limits on liability policies in Kentucky. “Per Accident” limits cap the amount of money the insurance will pay for any given accident when there are two or more injured people. “Per Passenger” limits cap the amount of money that will be paid for each passenger involved in the accident.
You can carry as much bodily injury liability coverage as you’d like, though there are minimum required coverages in each state. As you are required to only carry the minimum, you will find that there are many drivers who only have the minimum coverages.
Typically, the insurance companies will decide how the coverage is divided between the parties involved in a “per accident” payout. All parties must come to some agreement with how this is split. If no agreement is reached, then the insurance adjuster will sometimes hold settlement until an agreement is reached on how to divide the money. This is where an experienced accident attorney can help you negotiate with the insurance company.
An injured party is not required to accept the insurance settlement. Instead, they may pursue the claim in court. Often it is better to negotiate with the insurance company unless the other party is on a commercial policy. This is because many people are “judgment proof” or don’t have sufficient assets to pay a sizable lawsuit. Even if the at-fault party has the assets, it can be difficult to collect. If the other party files for bankruptcy, then you may have no realistic options for future collection.
It’s typically better to hire an attorney and maximize the amount the insurance company pays you. Your lawyer will investigate, collect evidence and present your case to the insurance company. Your lawyer can also help negotiate medical liens or other claims to help maximize your recovery amount.
At Saladino & Schaaf, we have years of experience representing Kentuckians in personal injury lawsuits. If another driver injured you in an accident and you need help, it’s important that you speak with a lawyer today. Complete our online contact form or call (270) 444-0406 today for a free consultation.
Saladino & Schaaf, PLLC is dedicated to providing high quality, aggressive legal representation to victims of personal injury and wrongful death. Since 1984, this firm and its predecessors have had one goal in mind – to help the victims of personal injury put the pieces of their lives back together.
Saladino & Schaaf, PLLC is a Personal Injury Law Firm with offices in Paducah, KY and Murray, KY. We serve clients throughout Kentucky and Illinois.
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