THE POTENTIAL IMPACT THAT THE AT-FAULT DRIVER’S INSURANCE POLICY LIMITS CAN HAVE UPON YOUR CAR ACCIDENT SETTLEMENT
I have previously written about the potential impact that the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits can have upon the willingness of the insurer to settle your injury claim, but it is worth elaborating on this point. In Georgia, we generally see automobile insurance policies with policy limits in the amount of $25,000, $50,000, $100,000.00, and $250,000 per person. If you have been injured in a car wreck, one of the first things that you or your personal injury lawyer needs to do is to find out what the policy limits of the at-fault driver are. Most injury lawyers are familiar with this process and can quickly obtain the policy limits from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. [There is a specific statute in Georgia law that states how we are to request insurance policy information for car accident cases.] The policy limits of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy do not directly determine the value of your caase.
For example, the at-fault driver may have an insurance policy with limits of $25,000 per person up to $50,000 per accident, and you may have a broken leg as a result of a car accident. The mere fact that the at-fault driver only have $25,000 in available insurance coverage does not suddenly make your case/claim only worth $25,000. The policy limit of $25,000 establishes the amount of money that you can recover from the at-fault driver’s insurer and possibly from the driver that caused your injuries, but that does not establish the amount of money that your case is worth. However, the policy limits can make a huge difference in the willingness of the at-fault driver’s insurer (the driver that caused your injuries insurer) to settle your case. The reason that this is the case is that if you have injuries and damges (for example, medical expenses) that are close to or greater than the at-fault driver’s policy limits, the negligent driver’s insurer will be very hesitant to refuse to settle the claim if it is presented properly. For example, if you suffered a broken bone in a car accident (let’s say $19,000 in medical expenses) and the at-fault driver had $25,000.00 in available insurance coverage, that insurer would almost certainly tender the available insurance coverage if presented with a legitimate demand package and placing them on notice of their “bad faith” risk for failure to settle the claim.
If you have questions about the potential impact that the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits can have upon your car accident settlement or, more generally, your car accident case, call the injury attorneys at The Sessions Law Firm today for a free consultation.