Visitor Question

Injuries More than Insurance Liability Limit

Submitted By: Dee (Sumter, SC)

My husband and I were involved in a car accident that wasn’t our fault. We hired a lawyer and they spoke with the insurance company. The insurance wants to settle for 15,000 and my husband’s medical bills are well over that amount. He was in the hospital for ten days because of a ruptured spleen and a broken toe.

The insurance company said that their client liability coverage is only $15,000 and that’s all that they are required to pay. Is that true? How else can we get money for the medical bills?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Dee,

When we purchase insurance, we are given the option to select certain policy limits and that ultimately impacts the price we pay — the lower the policy limits, the lower the premium.

It sounds as though you were injured by a driver who selected the lowest allowable premium in the state: $15,000.00. Therefore, the insurance company is probably telling you the truth. You can always ask for a declaration page showing the policy limits just to verify that this is accurate, but I am guessing that it is.

All hope is not lost, however.

Check your own insurance policy and see if you have an under-insured provision there. This is designed for the very scenario you have described where the other party’s insurance is “under” the financial amount needed to fully compensate you for your injury.

Lastly, before you pay the medical bills, please know a little industry secret: Most, if not ALL medical providers will reduce their bills by 50-60% and more under these circumstances when there is simply not enough settlement to go around.

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

Best of luck,

Published: April 14, 2010

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