If you have been injured in a car wreck, you may have already heard the term policy limits being thrown around by the insurance adjusters and lawyers.
What does that mean, and how does it affect your claim?
Insurance is not infinite. There is a set amount designated as the most a carrier will pay out on a claim. The number varies depending on the type of coverage. RJ Alexander Law, PLLC will be happy to assist you in figuring it out if you were injured in an accident and are trying to recover your medical expenses from an at fault driver.
Policy limits are presented as two numbers. Texas law has set the minimum amount of liability coverage at 30/60/25, so let’s use that as our example. If you are hurt in an accident where the driver has opted for the minimum amount of liability insurance, then regardless of the amount of your bills, his insurance company is only obligated to pay out $30,000. This is a per person amount for bodily injury. Unless he has other assets, there may not be much else you can do to him.
The second number, 60, is per accident. So if a driver runs a red light and causes a wreck that injures 5 people, the insurance company will only pay out up to $60,000. It can be complicated trying to work this all out with the other drivers’ insurance company, which is why we recommend utilizing a car accident attorney.
What if your medical expenses totaled $50,000 and their policy limit is $30,000? You are allowed to file a claim against your own insurance company to make up the difference. Hopefully, you sign up for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
The last number is the property damage amount. The insurance company is only required to pay out a maximum of $25,000 for all property damage caused in an auto accident with a minimum liability policy.
Houston Car Crashes
A smart Harris County motorist opted for higher uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. When he was struck by another vehicle in an intersection, the cost of his injuries exceeded the $30,000 liability policy of the other driver by $59,000. Not including the cost of his future care as a result of permanent disability. His own insurance company agreed to a $500,000 settlement amount on top of the $30,000 that had been paid by the at-fault drivers insurance company. The fact that he had the foresight to prepare for a worse case scenario not only ensured that the medical bills were paid, but that he was also compensated for future expenses. Had he not, he would have been left with a debilitating injury and a hospital bill balance of $9,000.
When considering the amount of coverage you need, consider all of your assets and make sure your policy limits equal or exceed them.
There are other options available to you besides just what a liable motorist can be forced to pay. If you sense that his insurance will be inadequate in relation to your expenses, consult with a Houston car crash attorney before giving up.