Can My Georgia Car Accident Settlement Exceed the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Coverage?

At Dermer Appel Ruder, our Norcross auto accident attorneys represent injury victims throughout Georgia to help them secure the best outcome for each case.

That requires pursuing negligent motorists and their insurance providers for our client’s financial recovery needs, which means the outcome of our claims often hinges on the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage details and overall policy limits.

In Georgia, the law only requires motorists to carry $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury coverage. However, if injuries are severe or multiple victims make claims, damages can easily exceed these limits.

The question becomes, what are my other options? We have answers.

Georgia Car Accident Settlement

Are Insurance Companies Required to Pay More Than Their Policy’s Coverage Limits?

Insurance companies are usually only required to pay up to the policy limit when settling a liability claim. However, there may be other ways to pursue additional compensation. Consulting with our experienced car accident attorneys in Norcross will help you understand if any of the following options apply to your claim.

They include:

  • Pursue additional umbrella insurance policies for your damages.

An umbrella policy is an additional layer of protection that can cover those responsible for property damage or personal injury to others. It can provide liability coverage of $1 million over and above auto (and other) insurance limits. This avenue is moot if the at-fault party does not have an umbrella policy.

  • Directly sue the at-fault driver for the balance of your damages.

In Georgia a lawsuit to recover personal injuries caused by the negligence of another person or company must be filed against the person or company. Lawsuits cannot be filed directly against the person’s or company’s insurance carrier. If the person or company that caused your injury and damages esdo not have sufficient insurance coverage to adequately compensate you for their negligence you may make a claim under your own insurance coverage under the underinsured motorist provision (UIM) of the policy. The amount of this claim would depend on how much UIM insurance purchased. It is for this reason that the lawyers at Dermer Appel Ruder recommend that you purchase the highest limit of UIM coverage that is within your budget You are always free to collect any damages awarded in a lawsuit, directly from the negligent r party. This may not be practical. If the negligent party does not have sufficient asset above their insurance coverage to pay you for your injury and damages The problem here may be that the person has no asse s to pursue, which would make a lawsuit a dead end.

  • Pursue punitive damages for gross negligence.

Punitive damages are legal compensation a defendant is ordered to pay in addition to compensatory damages. They are awarded by a court of law to punish defendants whose conduct is intentionally or grossly negligent. Gross negligence refers to a liable person or party maliciously or willfully engaging in an act that threatens others. A few examples of gross negligence may include drinking and driving or driving recklessly through an area filled with pedestrians.

If an insurance company fails to exhaust the policy limit to settle a valid claim by the deadline set in the demand letter, it can be forced to pay any amount a jury sees fit if the carrier acts in bad faith. Bad faith conduct by insurance Company can be difficult to prove and only occurs in a specific set of factual circumstances.

Contact Our Georgia Personal Injury Lawyers at Dermer Appel Ruder Today

If you have questions about what your car accident claim is worth, contact our Georgia personal injury lawyers at Dermer Appel Ruder today by calling (404)-892-8884 or online to discuss your case during a free consultation.

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