If you have been involved in an auto accident, you have suffered a variety of damages. These damages could be serious in nature and have a major financial impact on your family. Sometimes the defendant might just have the minimal required state insurance, and if the damages exceed the limits of the plan, you might be wondering where the money to cover expenses will come from. You might be willing to settle for a balance that is within the limits of their insurance coverage, but you must go to court, so you sue for more than the policy limits. So, yes you can sue for a greater amount than the policy offers, but if and where you get the difference is a different settlement.
Who Covers Damages that Exceed the Other Driver’s Policy Limits?
If you have damages that exceed the policy limits of the other driver, or if you get a judgment that exceeds the amount of the other person’s insurance coverage, you might be wondering how you will be compensated. There are different ways you might receive those additional funds. Here are some options:
- The other driver will have to pay those excess amounts from their own personal funds, and he or she might need to sell off assets to do so
- If the other driver has no way to pay the excess amount, then the additional funds could come from your uninsured or underinsured auto insurance coverage. This is one reason why drivers should have that kind of coverage, for situations when the other driver doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have adequate coverage to take care of the costs.
How Are Damages Calculated?
Just as with any auto accident or personal injury claim, you must show the court the amount of damages you suffered. This will include providing medical bills, proof of missed work and lost wages, estimations of future medical bills and future lost wages, and written estimates for property damages. If the other driver was excessively negligent or broke the law, you could be entitled to receive punitive damages, which are additional funds designed to punish the driver and deter him or her from acting that way in the future. Serious injuries that can affect you the rest of your life might warrant higher compensation because of more serious damages. Here are some common damages cited in a personal injury claim:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Property damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Long-term or permanent disabilities
- Mental anguish
Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney
Auto accidents can lead to serious damages. To have a successful claim, you must show that the other driver acted negligently, and you must successfully prove the severity of your claims. The odds of a successful claim are much greater with the help of an accident injury attorney. Get your free case evaluation today!