What happens when a car accident claim exceeds insurance limits?

What happens when a car accident claim exceeds insurance limits?

What happens when a car accident claim exceeds insurance limitsAre you trying to settle a car accident claim? Will your claim exceed the at-fault party’s insurance limits? When a car accident claim exceeds insurance limits, you can file a claim with your car insurance provider or potentially recover the additional funds through legal action. 

Since most people only carry the minimum legal requirements of liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage, a claim can easily exceed insurance limits, whether due to an ongoing injury that arose from a light fender bender or a severe, multi-vehicle accident with many damages. 

If you’re in a situation where your claim exceeds the other driver’s insurance limits, The Johnson Firm can help you plan the best path forward and answer any questions you have about your case. Ready to talk to a top Louisiana car accident lawyer? Call 337-427-8961 or send us a message now to get in touch with our team.

 

Auto Insurance Laws in Louisiana

In Louisiana, the minimum insurance requirement for bodily injury is only $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident, so it does not take much to exceed the minimum insurance limits that the vast majority of people carry. Each vehicle is also required to have a minimum of $25,000 coverage for property damage.

While a severe car accident with a serious injury can easily exceed insurance limits, even fender bender case, where the client goes to the ER, his/her family doctor, and then sees a chiropractor for a few months, will likely go over the minimum limits, as well.

Additionally, Louisiana’s compulsory coverage law bars any party who is uninsured from recovering the first $15,000 of bodily injury damages or the first $25,000 in property damages through an insurance claim, no matter the cause or right of action. If damages exceed those specific minimums, then the uninsured injured party can pursue recovery of additional damages.

 

How Policy Limits Affect Settlements

When trying to figure out what happens when a car accident claim exceeds insurance limits, you must understand how policy limits work during car accident cases. Louisiana requires a minimum amount of auto insurance coverage to cover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, property damages, and other related damages. The limits of the coverage reflect the maximum amount of money that an insurance provider is usually required to pay for various damages.

If the primary liability policy is not sufficient to compensate for all damages, other avenues may be available to you to receive compensation. You can look to your own underinsured motorist coverage to settle the missing funds. You can also pursue certain collection actions against the defendant or pursue legal action against additional defendants. In accidents like truck accidents, that may mean pursuing legal action against the employer of the truck driver. 

As another alternative, an insurance provider’s umbrella policy may provide additional funds and coverage when necessary.

 

What types of damages can I claim after a car accident?

After a car accident happens, you may have several types of damages that you can claim through the other party’s insurance provider, or you may not be sure which damages you can claim. Many types of damages are commonly claimed after car accidents, including:

  • Medical expenses and bills
  • Lost wages and future wages
  • Pain and suffering and other non-economic damages
  • Property damages, including damage to personal possessions
  • Wrongful death
  • And more

Claiming damages can be complicated, and in serious accidents, it often requires the help of a lawyer. Your lawyer will use facts and evidence to prove the fault of the defendant and hold them liable for your damages. Our goal is to prove the negligence or wrongful action(s) that caused your damages.

 

How quickly do I need to file a car accident lawsuit in Louisiana?

If you decide to pursue a car accident lawsuit in Louisiana, it’s important to look to the statute of limitations to decide how quickly you need to take action. Outside of the designated time periods for each claim type, you will likely not be able to recover compensation for your losses through a lawsuit.

Some of the most common claims after a car accident are wrongful death actions, personal injuries, and property damages. These claims all must all be brought forth within one year from the date of the accident or the person’s death. For uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) claims, you have two years to file a lawsuit for UM/UIM coverage.

 

Get in Touch With Our Team 

When your car accident claim exceeds insurance limits and you aren’t sure what to do next, The Johnson Firm can help. We have deep experience and success in helping those involved in severe accidents who are experiencing complicated cases and life-changing damages. No matter where you’re at in the process, we’d love to help you find the best path forward.

Schedule a consultation with a top Lake Charles car accident lawyer at The Johnson Firm now by calling 337-427-8961 or sending us a message to get the conversation started.

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