While you probably don’t want to think about it, being involved in a car accident, no matter how minor, is inevitable. This is largely because of all of the crazy people driving on the road. When you are involved in a car accident, you should hire a lawyer. You’ll likely have many questions to ask your personal injury lawyer in regards to this. Some of them probably include:
● What role does car insurance play in a car accident case?
● How does its availability or lack of ability affect the final settlement value?
● What role does it play in deciding who is at fault and ultimately who to file a case or claim against?
The answer is, “it depends on the type of insurance that is involved.” Car insurance policies are complex. Your personal injury lawyer in El Monte will tell you that. It has many components and each component pays for different aspects in a car accident.
Liability insurance coverage
All car insurance policies have this. If you have this, it protects you and other people who are authorized to use your car against damage caused by negligence (a car accident!) The only stipulation is that it will pay up to the policy limits. Suppose you have a claim of $50,000 but the defendant’s liability insurance coverage limit is $30,000. You’ll only be getting $30,000 from the insurance company in this instance.
What can you do when your settlement amount exceeds the coverage limits?
You are generally out of luck. The insurance adjuster will probably not agree to pay you more than the policy limits even in this instance.
What can you do when the defendant is uninsured?
Well, your personal injury lawyer will ask you if you have an uninsured coverage rider on your policy. You can file a claim with your own insurance company and get a settlement amount in this instance. Otherwise, you are generally out of luck.
What can you do if the defendant doesn’t have enough insurance?
Well, once again, you will file a claim against your own policy to get the settlement money. This is provided that you have an uninsured motorist coverage rider on your car insurance policy. It will pay the difference between what the defendant’s insurance company has paid and the final settlement value.
The limits on underinsured and uninsured drivers’ coverage?
There is only one stipulation and this is that it has to be less than your overall policy coverage limit is. Therefore, if your overall policy limit is $1,000,000, your uninsured and underinsured coverage riders have to cover much less than this amount.
How do you tell if the defendant is insured?
Your lawyer will tell you that you can obtain this information from the police if an officer was present at the accident scene. Otherwise, you’ll have to ask the driver. You are generally out of luck if he or she refuses to provide this information.