Even if the negligent driver’s insurance company does not dispute your right to compensation, this does not mean that you will be fully compensated for your injuries. Why is that? The reason is that the insurance company is only legally responsible for paying up to the policy limits of the negligent driver’s policy. In Virginia, a driver is only required to carry a minimum liability coverage of $25,000 for personal injury to one person or $50,000 when more than one person suffers injuries. That could be far short of just your medical bills if you suffered any significant injuries.
Sources of Compensation You May Be Entitled to Following an Auto Accident
A way to solve the problem of there not being enough insurance to compensate you fully is to turn to all possible sources of compensation. An experienced car accident attorney can help identify these parties and negotiate multiple settlements on your behalf. Possible sources of compensation when the negligent driver’s insurance policy is not enough includes:
- Driver. The negligent driver remains responsible for compensating you even if he did not carry sufficient insurance to do so. Your attorney can file a lawsuit against him and obtain a judgment for the remainder of what you are owed. However, the driver may not have the financial resources to pay you, which is why looking to other sources is so important.
- Other liable parties. You want to pursue claims against any negligent parties. This can include other drivers involved in your collision, a vehicle and parts manufacturer if a defect in a vehicle part caused your injuries, and a municipality if a roadway design contributed to your wreck.
- Med-Pay. If you purchased medical insurance, you can file a claim for some of your medical expenses under this coverage regardless of fault—including if you were the negligent driver.
- Uninsured and underinsured coverage. You are required to purchase $20,000 in uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to help pay if the other driver has insufficient insurance to compensate you. You have the option of purchasing additional amounts of coverage. Depending on how much coverage you purchased, your claim with your own insurance company could be substantial.
Were you injured in a car accident caused by another driver? Call our office today to schedule a free consultation with a member of our car accident legal team to discuss your legal options and how we will fight to obtain the compensation that you deserve.