The Value of Your Car Accident Case: Amount of Insurance

The Value of Your Car Accident Case: Amount of Insurance

Car Accidents Lawyers

According to Attorney Eric T. Kirk who works as a car accident lawyer, most jurisdictions require certain minimal levels of liability insurance. The amount of liability insurance can have an essentially conclusive effect on the value of a personal injury case. The limiting mechanism is not necessarily a direct one. Rather, if not in absolute terms, as a practical matter, the amount available on collectible insurance may well represent the outer limits of compensation.

There are different types of car insurance available: personal injury protection [PIP], comprehensive/collision and liability – to name a few. PIP is a coverage considered first party in nature. In other words, the owner of a car carries it on their own car, and it provides benefits for themselves and their passengers. Comprehensive, collision or full is a type of coverage that covers the owner’s vehicle and damage to it that might result from a variety of processes. Liability insurance is the coverage that’s pertinent to this discussion. This clause provides coverage for harm caused to other people or their property by a negligent act committed by the owner or their permissive user.

So, for example, if a negligent actor has liability insurance of $30,000, the most the other individual[s] injured in an automobile accident with that insured person would be able to recover from that insurance is $30,000. That does not mean that the value of the case is $30,000. Nor does it mean that is all the money that the injured person is entitled to recover. Rather, it means only that the amount of insurance available is $30,000- and that may or may not have standalone legal significance.  A person injured in this hypothetical- who has damages that exceed $30,000- is certainly free to pursue what is referred to as an excess recovery. “Excess” in this context would mean amounts above all available liability insurance policies. There are two options in this scenario. One would be to look at the injured persons own uninsured, or in this instance, underinsured, motorist coverage to see if there is an additional source of insurance benefits available. If not, the injured person is, of course, free to seek and obtain an excess judgment in court . Here there is no insurance available to pay the excess. A resort to time-honored well known collection devices must be utilized: the garnishment of wages, levy and execution. If the individual causing the accident lacks sufficient insurance- or any insurance at all – but also lacks assets or income, collections may be difficult. It goes without saying that an intelligent assessment of case value includes a thorough and detailed knowledge of both the amount of available insurance and the prospect of collection of amounts in excess of that available insurance. This understanding is a vital component in the array of services offered by your personal injury attorney.

If you or someone you love has been injured recently in an accident, contact an attorney near you for help immediately.