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The other party is suing to recover a sum in excess of $50000. Do I have to worry about paying out of my pocket?

Philadelphia, PA |

I was in an auto accident while driving my father's car and the other party is suing me and my father separately to recover a sum in excess of $50000 each. I talked to my insurance company and the agent told me that the insurance will only cover a total of $25000 for both of us. I am really worried that the insurance will not cover the settled amount and we will have to pay out of pocket. This is not an amount we can afford. Is it likely, in a case such as this, that we have to pay out of out own pocket?

Thank you.

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Attorney answers 1


As I am not licensed in your state, I can only provide you with some general guidance. Did you have your own automobile liability insurance at the time of this collision? If so, your policy will provide additional coverage over and above that which is held by your father, whose car you were driving.

If this accident was your fault, I suggest that you write to your insurance company, keeping a copy of the letter, and advise them that you feel you were fully at fault and explain to them that you do not have resources to pay any judgment over your policy limit and urge them to do everything they can to settle the case within your policy limit. This type of letter will help set up your insurance company for a potential bad faith claim in the event that they do not settle the case within your policy limit and expose you and your father to an excess judgment.

If you and your father are, in fact, served with suit papers, I suggest that you retain your own attorney who can help to pressure the insurance carrier to work out a settlement which does not expose you and your father to an excess judgment.

In this day and age, $25,000 worth of liability insurance is very inadequate. If an injured party spends a week in the hospital following a collision with you,they can easily have medical bills alone which exceed $100,000.I suggest you speak with your insurance agent about adequately insuring you in the future.

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