If you have been injured in a car accident in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, your legal damages may exceed the at-fault driver’s liability policy. If that happens, how can you be fairly compensated?
1. The at-fault driver’s insurance company
All states require that drivers purchase liability insurance to pay damages they cause after a car or truck crash. Texans must purchase these minimum amounts of insurance:
- $30,000 for the injury damages of any one person
- $60,000 for the injury damages of all people involved
- $25,000 for the property damage of all people
Depending on the injuries and expenses incurred, these amounts may or may not be adequate. For example, the victim may be seriously injured and have substantial medical bills, lost wages, and other damages of $50,000 but only collect $30,000.
This leaves the other drivers and passengers to compete for the remaining $30,000, since any one of them can be paid the remaining $30,000.
The insurance claims process is often complicated and frustrating. There are many mistakes that can reduce or even eliminate the recovery of money.
This is why most people hire a good personal injury lawyer to fight the company, handle the myriad details, and fight to increase their proceeds.
The first step we take is to investigate the collision and gather the police report, photographs, and other important evidence. We notify the at-fault driver’s insurance company that a claim is being made on the policy and open a dialogue with the adjuster.
We want to know how high the policy limits are, especially in cases with larger damages or where multiple vehicles are involved. Sometimes drivers carry more than the above amounts, including $50,000, $100,000, or more per person and more for all claimants. We search for an umbrella or excess policy and investigate if a business with much larger limits was responsible.
We order the ambulance, hospital, emergency room, radiology, and other first day medical bills and records and monitor our client’s medical treatment. We forward bills and records to the insurance adjuster and, depending on the amount of damages, demand they reserve the entire policy limit for payment.
We perform asset checks and conduct internet research. Since most insurance companies refuse to divulge what the insurance limits are, we have ways to research the amounts.
When our client has completed treatment or we have an understanding of how much their future damages will be, we make a formal demand for payment.
We negotiate the largest possible settlement and if it is reasonable, we discuss whether our client should accept it. If they do, we reduce outstanding hospital and medical and government liens and certain medical payments to maximize their recovery of money.
We prepare a lawsuit and are ready to litigate if settlement talks fail. Or in some cases, we file suit immediately.
Each case is different so each is valued at a different amount. For more info, please read: How much money is my car accident case worth?
2. Other policies that may be available
There may be other insurance companies and entities which will pay additional damages. Those include the following:
(A) Your or your driver’s underinsured motorist benefits:
(B) Your or your driver’s personal injury protection benefits:
(C) Your or a family member’s health insurance policies:
(D) Short and long-term disability policies
(E) Workers compensation benefits
(F) Medicare benefits
(G) Medicaid benefits
3. Other drivers or companies may also be at fault
A company’s vehicle may have been poorly maintained. Its driver may not have been legally qualified to drive, was improperly trained or supervised. violated hours of service regulations, was driving while distracted or using a cell phone, or was driving while intoxicated.
Other drivers may also be liable for causing the crash.
Occasionally, the vehicle manufacturer or the state, county, or city may be liable.
A personal injury lawyer will pursue all responsible parties for additional funds.
We can help you
If you have been hurt in a car, truck, 18-wheeler, motorcycle, or pedestrian collision, Berenson Injury Law is here to help you. Please contact us to discuss your claim