Insurance policy limits not enough to cover my injuries?
(Mount Gilead, Ohio)
On November 27th 2015, I was struck head-on by another vehicle. They were cited and are 100% responsible. I suffered a fractured femur and patella, as well as various other injuries. My medical bills are over $200k at the moment and I still have to have more surgeries.
Her insurance company is only offering $100k, saying that is their policy limit. I was wondering if I should be entitled to more compensation, and if her insurance should have to pay back my health insurance?
I'm 25 years old and have lived a very healthy and active life up until this point. I have multiple scars and have limited use of my left leg at the moment. I don't want to file bankruptcy and I want to avoid court as much as possible.
I have the understanding that if I were to take her to court that she could just file bankruptcy and then I would receive nothing. This accident has caused me to lose my job, I had to move, I lost a relationship with my girlfriend, and I've had plenty of mental anguish along the way.
What can I do about this? Thank you.
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ANSWER for "Insurance policy limits not enough to cover my injuries?":
Corwin (Mount Gilead, Ohio):
Under the circumstances, you quite obviously should be entitled to more compensation. The problem is that the insurance company is only contractually bound to offer their insured's policy limits, and no more. Once they "tender" the limits, the insurance company can walk away from the claim.
However, what assurances do you have that $100K is actually the policy limits? Surely the insurance company didn't share their insured's declaration page with you. (The declaration page is the first page of a car insurance policy. On that page will be a description of the coverage, including policy limits.)
Unfortunately, you are correct. If you sue the negligent driver it is possible she may declare bankruptcy. However, at this point you don't know if she has assets sufficient to cover additional compensation.
It's not too late to seek counsel from an experienced personal injury attorney. A seasoned injury attorney will be able to learn what the policy limits are, and whether or not the negligent driver has additional assets to cover your losses.
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by seeking a consultation with a personal injury attorney. Because most injury attorneys do not charge for initial office consultations, it would be in your best interest to meet with one.
Bring the following to your meeting: all your medical and chiropractic bills and records, receipts for out of pocket expenses, and verification of lost wages.
After reviewing the documentation and asking you some questions, the attorney will be able to tell you if your claim for additional compensation is viable, and whether or not he or she believes legal representation will ultimately result in a higher net settlement.
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,
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