What if hospital bills from a car accident exceed the policy limits.

Asked over 5 years ago - Illinois

Recently a family member was in a car accident where it was a friend of hers fault. It was a one car accident. Her bills have reached $150k as of now and the insurance company says the limit is $100k on the policy. Is there anything that she can do at this point? Would it have to come to suing her friend in order to get the rest of the bills paid or are there ways to force the insurance company to pay the balance?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Michael W. Clancy

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . Although your question is fairly simple, the answer isn't. You need to go see a lawyer. First, the "limit" that the insurer is probably referring to is the bodily injury limits. An insurer generally can't be forced to pay more than the limits of the policy. It may be, however, that there is other coverage in the same policy, like medical payments coverage, which can be accessed to cover more of the bills. While you can sue the friend, the issue is whether the friend has the money to pay a judgment. Most people don't, and judgments like this simply impossible to collect. What can be done is negotiating with the medical bill providers to persuade them to take less so that all the money doesn't go to the bills and your family member gets to keep some.

    This is just an outline-- please find a good lawyer in your area and give him/her a call right away.

  2. Peter LaSorsa

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . Your friend should contact an attorney at once. Attorneys like myself who handle these types of claims do not charge to discuss matters. There is a good chance I would be able to handle this without her owing any of the $150K and not suing her friend. I would need more facts and would need to discuss with her.

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