Can I sue for more than the defendant's insurance policy limits?

by Mary
(Hartford, CT)

I was at a stop light in heavy traffic, had been being tailgated by an SUV, I was in a civic. When the light turned green I began going forward along with the cars in front of me but the car behind me lagged.

Then the SUV gunned it and went up on the median on the left of me to pass, was driving with 2 wheels in the grass when she had to jerk the wheel to the right to avoid hitting a sign, slammed into the left side of my car and continued to flip her car over on its side from the impact in the middle of the road.

It whipped out the left side of my car but worse, I was shifting into 2nd gear when she hit me which caused a torn rotator cuff and shredded bicep tendons.

I had surgery and that was the most painful thing I have ever been through, the PT was excruciating and I still have pain over a year later. The thing is her father is the Lt. in the fire department and the state cop only gave her a warning.

Her insurance coverage is $100,000/$300,000 and after all the bills, missed time from work 6 months and no pay, the lawyer gets 1/3 plus costs. I walk away with less than my expenses?

I mean why can't I get more than the $100,000? My pain and suffering aren't even being addressed at this point, oh and she has nothing, a big mortgage on a little house, doesn't own her own car, the bank does, how do I get more from the insurance company? Can I sue my own insurance? Please help.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Can I sue for more than the defendant's insurance policy limits?":

Your injury sounds extremely painful and in such a situation, it seems as though you will not truly be made whole which is the goal of the personal injury claims system.

If the driver has nothing, unfortunately suing her personally will not help you because you would have nothing to which you could attach a judgment. Depending on the type of insurance you have, you may be able to submit a claim there.

If you have a provision for under-insured motorist (UM policy), you can submit a claim to your own insurance company for the remainder of your claim that is not covered. Depending on your policy limits, this coverage may help to make you whole.

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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