What Are Insurance Policy Limits and Why Do They Matter?
If you’re in a car or truck wreck that someone else causes, you might think the other driver’s insurance will take care of your medical bills, car repairs, and other expenses. Because, after all, you didn’t do anything wrong.
But, unfortunately, that’s not always the case. That’s because insurance policies have limits. That’s why it’s so important to talk to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible after being in a car accident. They can go after other sources of money to help compensate you for your losses.
Minimum Coverage/Maximum Insurance Policy Limits
Under Texas law, drivers must have car insurance and in certain amounts. But most people don’t understand that these minimum policy limits are actually the most an insurance company will pay for the victim(s)’ medical treatment, car repairs, lost wages, and other expenses from a car accident. And, these amounts haven’t gone up since 2011[SL1] .
Commonly referred to as 30/60/25, the limits are:
- Bodily injury liability: $30,000 per person – the maximum amount an insurer will pay for a single person injured by the at-fault driver.
- Bodily injury liability: $60,000 per accident – the maximum dollar amount an insurer will pay for all injuries caused in an accident in which more than one person is hurt.
- Property damage liability: $25,000 per accident – maximum dollar amount an insurer will pay for property damages caused by the at-fault driver.
Consider this example: If a driver with only the minimum insurance causes an accident that totals a $35,000 vehicle and results in $100,000 in medical bills, his insurance would cover only $30,000 for the medical costs and $25,000 for the car damage. The rest – $80,000 – is up to the accident victim to figure out how to pay.
“It’s unacceptable that someone injured because of someone else’s negligence can’t get all of their expenses covered,” said Amy Witherite, attorney, Witherite Law Group. “When insurance policy limits are too low, accident victims need a determined advocate on their side to find other resources.”
There are several ways an attorney experienced in handling car and truck wrecks can help when the other driver’s insurance isn’t enough:
1. Suing multiple at-fault parties
An attorney can identify all the accident’s causes and people responsible. Maybe the driver who caused the wreck was driving for his or her job at the time of the accident. In that case, the driver’s employer might be partially responsible if they didn’t take care of vehicle repairs, for example, when they were due.
If there were other vehicles involved in the accident, other drivers might also be partially responsible. How much their actions contributed to the accident would then determine how much they might pay.
Perhaps the driver causing the accident did so to avoid a road hazard or because of poor lighting or lack of signs, for example. In this case, you might be able to get compensation from the agency responsible for road maintenance.
Fully investigating the causes of the accident can identify multiple at-fault parties. That’s why Witherite Law Group goes to the scene of the accident right away, taking drones and other tools to thoroughly explore the accident site.
2. Tapping an umbrella policy
Another possible way to get your expenses covered when insurance policy limits aren’t enough is if the driver has an umbrella insurance policy. Umbrella policies cover losses that are more than other insurance policies’ limits. An experienced car wreck attorney can identify whether the at-fault driver has this type of insurance policy and how to get the insurance company to pay.
3. Suing the insurance company
You may be able to sue the other driver’s insurance company under certain circumstances.
The other driver’s insurance company can reject your settlement offer, even if it is less than the limits of the coverage policy, and instead go to trial. If, after hearing all the evidence and testimony, the jury decides on a settlement amount that is more than the insurance policy limits, the insurer may have to pay the entire amount, even though it exceeds the policy limits.
Getting a financial settlement that covers all expenses and losses from a car or truck wreck can be time-consuming and challenging. Having an experienced attorney on your side is essential to navigate the complex process and identify and pursue all available funds, assets, and alternative resources to get you what you need. The attorneys at Witherite Law Group specialize in car and truck wreck cases and have the skills and dedication to pursue every option to get our clients what they’re owed.
(See some of the Witherite Law Group’s victories against insurance companies for settlement amounts that exceeded policy limits.)
The accident attorneys of Witherite Law Group help those who have been injured in a car or truck accident. Get legal help today by calling 1-800-CarWreck® or 1-800-TruckWreck. We’re available 24/7.