At-fault driver's insurance limits don't cover my expenses?

by Monica
(Columbia, SC)

I was in an auto accident a few months ago. I have neck and lower back strain, as well as a complete tear in my rotator cuff. I had surgery to repair it but I'm still having pain and stiffness. I'm scheduled to have therapy for the next three months.

The at-fault driver's insurance company contacted me to inform me that the driver's insurance limits might not be enough to cover all of my costs. The adjuster said that I would have to file a claim for underinsured motorist with my insurance company. But my insurance company already paid $1,000.00, which was the limit for Personal Injury Protection.

Will this prevent me from being able to file for underinsured? How does that work? Exactly who will pay for my pain and suffering? Right now my bills are at about $30,000.00. I need any information I can get about this. Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "At-fault driver's insurance limits don't cover my expenses?":

Monica (Columbia, SC):

In your case, the at-fault driver's insurance company is "Tendering Policy Limits." This means once they send you the money, they will be relieved of responsibility for your medical bills, out of pocket expenses, lost wages, and your pain and suffering.

They may also decide to directly pay your medical creditors. Unfortunately, you are only entitled to the amount of uninsured/underinsured insurance money from your insurance company.

You do have every right to pursue the at-fault driver's personal assets in an effort to pay the balance of your medical bills, etc. To do so you will likely have to file a lawsuit against him or her.

Before doing so you might consider hiring a private investigator to investigate the at-fault driver's background, including ownership of property, stock portfolios, and other assets. Doing so will help you decide whether filing a lawsuit will be fruitful.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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