If you are injured in a car accident caused by another driver, that driver’s insurance company is responsible for paying your damages up to the policy limits. Depending on the amount of coverage the other driver has and your injuries, your damages may exceed the policy limits.
An insurance company may decide to offer the policy limits if it knows that its driver as clearly responsible for the accident and your injuries are severe enough to cause the total damages to exceed the policy limits. In some cases, it is less costly for the insurance company to pay the policy limits rather than fight the claim.
If you have been offered the policy limits to settle a motor vehicle accident claim, you may wonder why you would need a NoLA accident attorney to represent you.
Consult with A NoLA Accident Attorney Before Accepting Any Settlement Offer
Even if the insurance company for the other driver offers to settle for the policy limits, it is wise to seek the advice of a NoLA accident attorney for several reasons.
Verify the Limits
Are you sure you are receiving the policy limits? Your attorney requires copies of the insurance policy and other documentation to verify that you are actually receiving the entire benefits allowed under the other driver’s insurance policy. Some policies may have riders that could increase the amount you may receive. An attorney thoroughly examines this before accepting the settlement offer.
If your damages exceed the policy limits, you may be able to pursue a claim against the driver. This is only beneficial if the driver has assets that can be used to pay a judgment. An attorney can conduct an asset search to determine if you should consider pursuing a personal judgment against the driver for the amount of damages that exceed his insurance policy limits. Once you sign the release with the insurance company, you release the other driver from any further liability.
Other Potential Defendants
The other driver may not be the only liable party in your case. For example, if the driver was working at the time of the accident, his employer could be liable for your damages. Other examples would include a car manufacturer if a defective part contributed to the accident or the city government if road conditions were a factor in the accident. By identifying other liable parties, your attorney can fight to obtain additional compensation from those parties for the amount of damages over the driver’s policy limits.
Call A NoLA Accident Attorney for A Free Appointment
Remember, once you sign a release for the settlement, you cannot go back to the insurance company, the driver, or another party for compensation. Those releases have language releasing “all parties” from “any further liability” for your claim. It is best to make sure that you don’t have any other avenue to pursue for compensation before you agree to a settlement. Our attorneys can help you do that.
Call Attorney Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm for a free consultation with an experienced NoLA accident attorney. Contact our office at (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to schedule your free appointment.