What if Your Car Crash Claim Exceeds the Value of Your Car Insurance Policy?
While some car crash injuries may heal in a few weeks or months and leave victims with no long-term damage, others can affect victims for years or the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, the financial value of damages from these injuries could far exceed the value of the victim’s auto insurance policy.
If this happens to you, are you stuck paying these additional costs out of your own pocket? Are there other options for recovering additional compensation?
Our experienced Bloomington-based vehicle crash lawyers discuss this issue in detail below. There may be a variety of options for securing compensation above policy limits.
At TSR Injury Law, we have helped many car crash victims secure compensation to cover the full cost of their damages. We offer victims a free initial consultation and if you decide to hire our firm, there are no upfront fees. Our attorneys are not paid for providing legal services unless our clients receive compensation.
Securing Compensation After a Minnesota Car Crash
Minnesota requires all drivers to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. This is no-fault coverage, which means drivers can use it even if they are at fault for the crash. Typically, crash victims file a claim for PIP benefits before other types of claims.
PIP provides compensation for medical care you need following the crash. This may include the cost of:
- Stays in the hospital
- Transportation in an ambulance
- Medical equipment
- Medical tests
- Appointments with doctors
- Mileage to and from treatments
- Chiropractic appointments
Basic mandatory PIP medical coverage is $20,000.00. You can buy more or “stack” benefits if you own multiple cars. PIP also provides compensation for lost wages and the cost of hiring someone to perform household services, like housekeeping. Wage and replacement service coverage is in addition to medical coverage. Basic PIP also provides $20,000.00 for these services.
Options if Your Damages Exceed PIP Insurance Limits
Minnesota requires drivers to buy a minimum amount of liability insurance in case they cause a crash that results in damages. The minimum required coverage is:
- $30,000 per person for bodily injuries
- $60,000 per crash if two or more people get injured
- $10,000 for property damage
However, it is important to remember a liability insurance claim is not a no-fault claim. Therefore, your lawyer must prove the other driver is liable for your damages and certain thresholds must be met before a person can receive compensation for pain and suffering from the at-fault driver’s insurance (above and beyond the no-fault PIP coverages).
Under certain circumstances, you may be able to step outside of the no-fault system and make a pain and suffering claim against the at-fault driver. For example, if you have more than $4,000 in medical bills or suffered one of the following types of injuries:
- Permanent injury
- Injury that causes you to miss 60 days of work
- Fatal injury
What if the Other Driver is Uninsured or Underinsured?
In this situation, you may file a claim against your own policy for underinsured or uninsured coverages. These are mandatory coverages for at least $25,000 per person $50,000.00 per crash.
An underinsured motorist coverage claim is meant to pay for damages that exceed the value of the at-fault driver’s liability coverage.
More Options if Your Damages Exceed Policy Limits
Another option is the at-fault driver’s umbrella insurance. Some policies provide umbrella insurance in case their insured causes a serious crash, as their car insurance coverage may run out before it covers the victim’s damages.
Drivers buy umbrella insurance to protect their assets, because when their auto insurance coverage runs out, victims and their attorneys may come after the at-fault driver’s assets.
Sometimes car crashes involve more than two vehicles. In these situations, you may have a claim against both driver’s liability insurance, with each paying for their percentage of fault.
There may also be a third party besides another driver that bears some responsibility for your damages, such as a government entity responsible for maintaining a roadway. However, you would need to establish that entity’s fault for the crash and your damages, which may be a challenge. That is why it is vital to hire an experienced attorney with extensive knowledge of the law.
Need Legal Assistance Following a Crash? Call TSR Today
For decades, our licensed attorneys have been assisting those injured in accidents, including motor vehicle crashes. We know how difficult the aftermath of these situations can be and how important it is for victims to secure compensation for things like medical treatment and lost wages.
If you or a loved one were injured by another’s negligence, our attorneys may be able to assist you. We are ready to discuss what happened in a free consultation to explain how we may be able to help during this difficult time.
TSR Injury Law. No Upfront Fees. No Financial Risks. (612) TSR-TIME