When you're involved in an accident with an insured driver, the person's insurance provider will typically pay your damages up to the individual's policy limit. What do you do, though, if your damages and losses exceed the maximum amount the insurance company will pay out? You don't have to settle for less than you're owed. Here are two ways you can collect the rest of the money after the insurance company has paid out.
Tap Into an Umbrella Policy
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the liable party may be insured by more than one policy. In particular, the person may be covered by an umbrella policy that kicks in once the primary policy is spent. This is often the case with businesses. The company may have a policy that covers business vehicles and another general policy that covers the entire business. Once all the funds in the auto insurance are depleted, the secondary insurance kicks in to pick up the excess.
Although umbrella policies are more common with businesses, sometimes individuals will have them as well. In either case, conduct a thorough check on the liable party to uncover all the policies you can potentially tap to get your damages and losses paid.
Spread the Cost to Other Potential Liable Parties
Sometimes there is more than one person or entity that can be held liable for damages associated with an accident. For instance, if the defendant crashed into you because of a faulty traffic light, you could sue the city for negligence. Examine the circumstances of your accident to determine if there are other people you could pursue to get the balance of your losses paid.
Be aware, in jurisdictions that use comparative negligence, the court will only make the parties pay the portion of damages for which they are liable. For instance, if the court finds one party to only be 20 percent liable for the accident, the person will only have to pay 20 percent of the cost of your damages. Therefore, there is still a chance you may not get the full amount you are seeking.
There are a few other ways you can get the balance of your damages paid, such as suing the liable party directly. Discuss the issue with a personal injury attorney who can assist you with putting together a case that helps you obtain the maximum amount of money possible. Contact a law firm, such as Bangel, Bangel, & Bangel, for more information.Share