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Recovering damages that exceed insurance policy limits

| Jun 24, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents, Personal Injury |

In 2019, there were more than 50,000 injury-causing car crashes in Pennsylvania. The severity of crash-related injuries can range from scrapes and bruises to traumatic brain injuries. The one thing most injuries have in common is they result in medical expenses for the victim.

If you suffered injuries in a car accident that was another person’s fault, they are responsible for your damages, including medical expenses. Unfortunately, many individuals do not have sufficient insurance protection to cover the full extent of the costs.

Who could be responsible?

Any party whose negligent or intentional actions caused the accident is responsible for your injuries. Commonly responsible parties include:

  • Driver: If a driver fails to drive responsibly or violates traffic rules and regulations, they are responsible for their negligent actions.
  • Employer: If a negligent driver is acting in the scope of their duties as an employee at the time of the accident, their employer is responsible.
  • Vehicle manufacturer: A vehicle manufacturer is responsible for crashes or injuries caused by a vehicle malfunction such as an airbag that fails to deploy or a brake failure.

A lawyer can help you assess the evidence to determine which party was responsible for the accident. A police report is an important piece of evidence. It will contain pictures of the accident scene, witness information, and any citations that were issued to negligent drivers.

Understand the scope of damages

A car accident victim can suffer a wide variety of injuries, both physical and mental, including:

  • Medical expenses related to any physical injuries
  • Lost income if injuries require that they miss work
  • Costs to repair or replace damaged property
  • Emotional distress resulting from the accident, like anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder

These damages can quickly add up to amounts that exceed the negligent party’s insurance limits.

Secure recovery above insurance limits

Many car accident recoveries are handled through a party’s insurance, but insurance providers are not likely to pay out more than the policy limits. Consider the following strategies to secure full recovery:

  • Recover from multiple defendants. If negligent driving and a vehicle malfunction caused the accident and injuries, pursue both parties.
  • Tap into umbrella insurance. Investigate if the defendant has an umbrella insurance policy that provides additional coverage.
  • Pursue the employer. If the driver was working at the time of the accident, seek recovery from the employer, who is likely to have higher policy limits.
  • Sue the driver directly. You can sue the driver directly for any damages not covered by their insurance policy.

An experienced personal injury attorney will help you explore all your options for securing the recovery you deserve.