Q: I was hit in a car accident. Lawyer says I can only get $30K bcuz that was other driver’s policy. Is this true?
Lawyer said I should get much more money. My Car was totaled, lost consciousness, peed on myself, broke my wrist & tailbone & had surgery. I was out of work for over 6 months & had rehab for 4 months. My medical bills were way over $30K which my mother & her insurance paid. Lawyer said I couldn’t piggyback on my insurance. Besides sueing individual, which would be a waste of time, what other options, if any, do I have.?
A: Did the policy of insurance covering the vehicle you were riding in have underinsured motorists coverage that exceeds $30,000? Or were you separately insured under another policy that has such coverage? If so, you can make a claim for the excess coverage. There is a specific means for pursuing an underinsured motorists claim, meaning you cannot settle with the at-fault driver’s insurance company until you follow the statutory procedure for making the claim with your own insurance carrier. If you do not have higher underinsured coverage than the other driver’s limits, then you’re stuck going to court if you want more, and hope the defendant has assets to pay any excess judgment. If the defendant doesn’t have a lot of assets, he’ll just declare bankruptcy and discharge the debt. It will also cost you money to pay your doctors to testify, so you’ll net even less money than if you take the $30K. If the other driver was running an errand for someone else, or was traveling as part of his employment, then you might sue the other person or company he was working for on an agency theory, or under the doctrine of respondeat superior.
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A: If you have uninsured or under insured motorist coverage you may be able to recover more money from your own insurance company. Don’t rule out filing suit against the person there may be some assets that you were not aware of. A judgment can always be used as a means for garnishing a paycheck etc. Also if he was working for someone else at the time the employer may have a policy that would offer some coverage.
Uzoma Obi agrees with this answer
A: Check with the policy of your auto insurance of the policy of the insurance of the car you were driving in for the underinsured policy limit - it only kicks in for amounts in excess of 30K (for instance if your underinsured limit is 100K, you are able to collect a max of 70k from your policy under Maryland law - subject to ensuring that you follow statutorily required notification steps).
Also, sue the other driver and obtain a judgment. You never know what the defendant's profession is which may put the defendant in a position to have to find a way to satisfy the judgement. In any event, good luck.
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