It isn’t often that auto accident settlements exceed the policy limits of a driver’s insurance. However, it can happen in specific situations. So, if your insurance won’t sufficiently cover your damages, you have options for recovering the rest of your losses. A car accident lawyer with our firm will discuss these options with you and evaluate your case during a free consultation.
In This Article
- How Do Auto Accident Settlements Exceed the Policy Limits?
- How an Attorney Obtains Damages in an Auto Accident Settlement
- Our New York Auto Accident Attorneys Work for You
- Contact Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. Today for an Auto Accident Lawyer in New York
How Do Auto Accident Settlements Exceed the Policy Limits?
An auto accident settlement may exceed an applicable policy limit for any one or more of a number of reasons. One situation is when the other driver has enough money or other assets to settle the case and does so. Another is when a jury enters a verdict that exceeds the policy limit and a settlement is offered and accepted instead of the plaintiff seeking to enforce the judgment or the defendant filing an appeal to overturn the verdict.
Finally, when an at-fault driver’s insurance company fails to protect the driver adequately. For example, a very low settlement offer or no settlement offer at all is made to settle a claim or lawsuit where the level of injury and the liability of the at-fault driver clearly support an offer. This is often described as the insurance carrier for the at-fault driver failing to act in good faith. If this is how the insurance carrier manages the file, the attorney for the injured claimant/plaintiff should file a bad faith claim against the insurer. A successful bad faith claim may lead to a case outcome where the injured party may recover a dollar amount in excess of the policy limit.
Monetary recoveries in excess of applicable policy limits are rare. However, experienced and dedicated auto accident attorneys are sensitive to the conditions that will support such outcomes and will pursue them aggressively when such conditions apply. Another Way to Recover Compensation Beyond the Policy Limits of the At-Fault Driver
Take Advantage of Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Insurance
New York drivers must have underinsured/uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage. (Even if you never heard of Underinsured/Uninsured coverage, a certain level of such coverage is in your policy.) Therefore, if you have a New York auto insurance policy, it will afford you a source of recovery if you or a passenger in your car are injured by someone with no insurance (this also applies to hit and run accidents where the at-fault driver left the scene without being identified, provided, among other conditions, that actual physical contact took place between the vehicle -that is, not just someone “cutting off” another car but there was no contact- and that the accident was reported to the police within 24 hours). As a mandatory minimum, your policy has limits of at least $25,000 (per person) and $50,000 (per accident). Your insurer or a lawyer from our firm will confirm this information for you. Because so many people drive around with minimum or no insurance and so many people are willing to flee the scene of an accident that they caused without exchanging identifying information, we urge you to review your UIM coverage and, if you are able to afford it, increase the amount you carry. No one wants a higher insurance bill, but increasing UIM coverage tends to be a relatively low-cost form of protection for yourself and your loved ones.
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How an Attorney Obtains Damages in an Auto Accident Settlement
There’s a lot an attorney from our firm will do to get you the compensation you deserve. First, your lawyer will investigate your case, seeking evidence to build the strongest claim possible on your behalf. Your attorney will also seek expert testimony to support your claim if your case calls for it.
Your attorney will carefully calculate your total damages. You could have many financial damages, including damage to your vehicle and medical bills, and noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering.
You deserve compensation for all these damages, so your lawyer will document them for an insurance claim and fight for them during settlement talks. Finally, they will advise you about filing a lawsuit should negotiations falter.
Your Lawyer Keeps Track of the Filing Deadline
If you and your lawyer decide on a lawsuit, your lawyer will file it for you, meeting the deadline set by New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules § 214 as well as any and all other applicable case time limits. Then, if indicated, we’ll prepare your case and argue it before a judge and jury to get you the compensation you need to maintain your financial situation.
Our New York Auto Accident Attorneys Work for You
Our personal injury attorneys serve victims of car accidents, truck accidents, and related incidents, representing them in and out of court and recovering compensation for them. We’re one of the top injury firms in New York, having earned numerous awards, including the Avvo Clients’ Choice badge.
One of our attorneys will take over your entire case and fight for an appropriate settlement. We can push for a much better case result even if you’ve already received a settlement offer from the at-fault driver’s insurer. (It is quite common for carriers to make a quick “low ball” offer, hoping an injured person, unaware of the full extent of their injuries and the likely true value of their case, will accept. Your attorney will do everything possible to recover your due compensation, even if it means fighting for a settlement amount that exceeds your policy limits. Finally, we have staff members who speak English, Spanish, Greek, Bengali, Tamil, and Kannada.
Contact Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. Today for an Auto Accident Lawyer in New York
Like so many of your neighbors on Long Island and in New York City have done for over 30 years, we invite you to choose with Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. to get the compensation you deserve. During a free initial consultation, we’ll review your options. When you hire one of our New York car accident lawyers, rest assured that your lawyer will fight hard for an appropriate settlement.
If you have any other questions for us, don’t hesitate to ask. Call Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. today for answers to your questions and free consultation.