What Happens When a Car Accident Claim Exceeds Insurance Limits?

Last updated on: February 9, 2023

Florida law requires all vehicle owners to have auto insurance. However, these policy limits are often not enough to cover your losses if you have been injured in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence. 

In Florida car accidents, the at-fault party may be liable for the rest of the compensation or the victim’s damages if the cost is higher than the insurance limit. Having a skilled Miami car accident attorney by your side can help you determine who is at fault for the accident, and hold them liable for their negligence. A skilled lawyer can also help you recover compensation for medical costs and lost wages after you have been injured in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence. 

Speaking to an experienced Florida car accident lawyer right away can be beneficial in helping you seek the maximum settlement you deserve for your injuries. At Charlip Law Group, our team of personal injury attorneys has years of experience helping clients with their injury claims.  Contact us today to schedule a consultation. 

Car Accident Claim Exceeding Insurance Limits

Every insurance policy has “policy limits” which dictate the maximum amount the carrier will pay to cover a particular event. Florida law requires that car insurance policies cover a minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability and $10,000 for personal injury protection. Bodily injury liability insurance is not required in Florida. It is important to know the other’s driver’s insurance amount in order for you and your lawyer to negotiate a fair settlement.

The insurer will also deduct any costs that the at-fault driver incurred if they were injured before they pay you. This is because both cases involve one accident. If the amount of your claim exceeds the other driver’s policy limit, you would probably have to seek payment through your health insurance and car insurance (if you have purchased collision or underinsured motorist coverage), before relying on the negligent party’s insurance.

Methods To Determine The Policy Limit Of Another Driver

Many insurance companies are reluctant to disclose the coverage amount of their policies to anyone but the policyholders. However, if you are involved in a car accident and would like to know the policy limit of the at-fault driver, there are several ways to do so. One is that you can ask the at-fault driver for his or her insurance number and name. The policy limit will likely be included if the other driver has a proof-of-insurance card. You can also call the at-fault driver within a few days of the accident and ask them for the information.

Another way to determine the other driver’s policy limit is to ask your carrier if you have an open claim. Your case manager may be able to help you find out the other driver’s policy limit in this manner. In some cases, the case manager requests this information ahead of time from the other driver’s insurance company, especially if their client has filed an uninsured motorist claim. 

It is also possible to send a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurer, offering to settle your case for the full policy limit, if they refuse to disclose the amount available. This is possible as long as the at-fault driver does not have any assets that would cover your medical expenses and other damages brought upon by the accident. 

Lastly, filing a lawsuit may also reveal the policy limit of the other driver. The insurance company will be required to disclose the policy limits as well as the other elements of the policy in court. The court can take this information as evidence in the case.

Speaking to your car accident attorney about these methods may be helpful for you to receive the maximum amount of compensation possible for your case. By knowing the policy limit of the other driver, you and your lawyer may be able to negotiate accordingly and ensure that you are getting the best outcome possible for your case. 

Florida’s No-Fault Insurance

Florida is a state that has a “no-fault” car insurance system. This means that after a car accident, regardless of who is at fault, your insurance coverage (“personal Injury protection” or “PIP”) pays for the medical bills and other financial losses of any person covered by the policy up to its policy limits. However, there are exceptions on the types of losses that can be covered by no-fault/PIP insurance claims. Pain and suffering due to the accident are not compensated as well as other non-monetary damages. 

In order to file a third-party claim against the at-fault driver and be compensated for all other non-economic losses that are not covered by the no-fault system, your injuries must fall under the “serious injury” threshold set by Florida’s state law. According to Florida Statute 627.737, serious bodily injury refers to injuries that cause: 

  • Significant or permanent loss of an important bodily function
  • Permanent disfigurement or scarring
  • Permanent injuries
  • Death

It is also important to remember that vehicle damage claims arising from a car accident in Florida are not covered by the no-fault system. Instead, a liability claim may be filed against the at-fault driver. There are no limitations to this type of claim. 

Seeking Compensation Beyond Your Auto Insurance Policy

There are other possible options to get the compensation you deserve if you are eligible to sue the at-fault driver or another liable party for your Florida car accident. These options include:

  • Third-Party Auto Insurance Claims – Third-party auto insurance claims are based on the liability insurance policy of the at-fault driver. The policy covers the costs and losses of victims who are injured in an accident caused by the owner of the policy. With a skilled attorney to help you prove your case, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical care, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other damages.
  • Personal injury lawsuit – Personal injury lawsuits are civil suits based on negligence. A skilled personal injury lawyer may be able to help you prove that the at-fault driver caused your accident. Your lawyer will bring your claim to court and present evidence and proof to the judge. They will then ask the judge to issue a verdict and ask them to award you the compensation you deserve. 

A qualified attorney can provide the legal assistance you might need if you have been in a car accident. A law firm that is familiar with Florida auto accident laws such as Charlip Law Group, and has experience in cases similar to yours, can provide the legal support you need.

Getting the Legal Advice of a Skilled Florida Car Accident Attorney at Charlip Law Group

Car accidents can cause a wide variety of damages. Personal injury claims, property damage, lost wages, and medical bills are just some examples. It can be difficult to calculate and determine appropriate costs especially if you have no experience handling these types of accidents. A skilled lawyer can also provide you with legal advice, assist you in dealing with insurance companies, and make the process simpler.

At Charlip Law Group, our team of skilled car accident attorneys is dedicated to protecting the rights of victims of car accidents. We work with insurance companies to understand policy limits and maximize compensation through settlement negotiations and can enter litigation when necessary. 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Florida, it is important to take the first step and seek the help of an experienced injury lawyer right away. Contact us today at (305) 354-9313 to speak with a top-rated personal injury lawyer in Florida.

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