Policy Limits of Litigation with Insurance Company: Per Person/ Per Occurrence Limit?

Asked over 1 year ago - San Jose, CA

I was driving alone and had a car accident with another person, the fault was with him. After negotiating several times, the person's insurance company kept offering amounts way less than my med expense. I am considering hiring an attorney to sue the insurance company, what would the policy limit be? (it seems that I could not ask for more than per person if it was not litigated?) For example, if the per person limit is $5, per occurrence limit is $10, could I ask up to $10 if I litigate with the company? Thank you in advance!

Attorney answers (10)

  1. Steven Ronald Kuhn

    Contributor Level 15

    18

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No, you are only entitled to the single limit. In California, if the policy is $15,000/$30,000, it is $15,000 for any one person injured in the accident and $30,000 for all persons injured. You should consulrt with a experienced personal injury attorney in your area due to the low offer.

    Disclaimer- The information you obtain at our web-site or through postings on such sites as”AVVO.com are not,... more
  2. Cory Russell Weck

    Contributor Level 11

    17

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You are limited to the per person limits. Whether or not you have an attorney is not relevant to the contractual limitations of the at fault party. It is very unlikely you will get maximum recovery without the assistance of an attorney as insurance companies know that most people do not have the capabilities to successfully prosecute a case on their own. I don't know the nature or extent of your injuries so you may or may not need a lawyer.

    It will be well worth your time to at least consult with a respected attorney in your area who will likely provide a free consult and can tell you whether or not you need a lawyer.

  3. Mona Deldar

    Pro

    Contributor Level 11

    12

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Sorry to hear about your accident and the troubles you're having with the insurance company. I'm not surprised they're offering you less than your meds. As others have already pointed out, this is the norm. when attempting to handle a case without an attorney.

    To answer your question if the policy is 15/30 (the minimum in CA), the maximum policy payout would be $15,000. If there were others in the car, the maximum policy payout would be $30k (with a pro rata distribution to be made among those who were injured ) There are some instances when you can get more than the policy. A qualified personal injury attorney can help you maximize your recovery. Hope this helps--If we can be of further assistance to you, please feel free to contact us. 1.800.405.1070

    All the best.

    This information is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice, nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship.
  4. Steven Mark Sweat

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    12

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Under #California #law on #personal #injury, the minimum policy limit for bodily injury to one person would be $15,000. This would include both the present and any future medical expenses and "general" or "non-economic" damages for pain, suffering, disruption of lifestyle, etc. It sounds like you are getting the run-around from the at fault driver's insurance carrier. This is, unfortuately, very typical for people not represented by counsel. You should retain an attorney.

    Nothing in this communication should be construed as creating an attorney client relationship. This is for... more
  5. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    13

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No. Without a personal injury lawyer you will either get #1. no money or #2. a tiny nuisance settlement. Retain a lawyer with a low contingency fee so you get maximum compensation. Good luck.

    Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com
  6. Neil P. Flynn

    Pro

    Contributor Level 12

    13

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you choose to sue, you will be suing the driver/owner of the other car, not the insurance company. HIs insurance company will provide an attorney to represent him and pay the damages if you win. the insurance company is only obligated to pay the policy limits. the per person limit is what applies to you, since you are the only person injured and making a claim. so if the per person limit is $5, then the most you can get is $5.

    I've been litigating civil cases in New York for almost fifteen years including personal injury, medical... more
  7. David J. McCormick

    Contributor Level 20

    12

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . As stated you would be limited to the per person limit and nothing more.

    Good luck.

    DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being... more
  8. Scott J. Corwin

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The bottom line is that you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to review your case and get you the settlement that you deserve. I have over 20 years of protecting the rights of the my clients and getting them the compensation that is due to them.

    Scott J Corwin
    (310) 207-4030

  9. Barry P. Goldberg

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I think there are some concepts that you may not understand and I recommend that you consult with a local experienced personal injury attorney.
    Please understand that you are not necessarily limited to a "per person" limit. That is simply the limit that the at fault driver's insurer will pay on that driver's behalf to any given claimant like yourself. As other posters have indicated, the "per occurence" limit is not available to you. It is the "per accident" total amount that the insurer will pay to all claimants on behalf of the at fault driver.
    It is not out of the realm of possibility that the at fault driver could contribute to an amount above and beyond the amount of the "per person limit."
    More importantly, and I am a zealous advocate for high Unisured Motorist limits, you may have "Underinsured Motorist" coverage and you don't even know it! Most people don't understand this issue!
    If your Uninsured Motorist limits is higher that the at fault driver's "per person" limit, you may be entitled to the "Underinsured" portion difference between the liability limit and your own Uninsured Motorist policy limits.
    I strongly suggest that you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney with substantial insurance expertise. When you meet with your attorney, bring all the insurance information you received from the at fault driver AND BRING YOUR OWN INSURANCE DECLARATION PAGE!!! Best of luck!
    My website contains several pages of information regarding "Underinsured" motorist claims.

  10. Randy William Ferguson

    Contributor Level 19

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No. You can ask for anything, but the ten is per occurrence. You could only recover five. If two or more persons in your car, ten is the total that can be recovered.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The... more
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