Can a car insurance company sue me for damages exceeding my limit?
6 attorney answers
You are learning an unfortunate fact of life, it is important to maintain adequate automobile liability insurance at all times. With many cars selling for $25,000 and up, having only $10,000 worth of liability coverage is playing Russian roulette. Yes, they can sue you for the unpaid amount and eventually collect from you. Bankruptcy may or may not be your best option. I suggest that you contact a bankruptcy attorney and discuss your circumstances.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
Filing for bankruptcy protection will certainly take care of this problem for you. I don't see how else you can avoid if they are going to come after you for this.
Steven A. Schwartz
JOEL H. SCHWARTZ, P.C.
One Washington Mall, 16th floor
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 250-2072 fax
The information provided is based solely on the question and facts presented. The information presented should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. www.joelhschwartz.com
Bankruptcy is probably your best option. Talk to a local bankruptcy lawyer.
Randy W. Ferguson
303 Williams Avenue SW, Suite 321
Huntsville, Alabama 35801
Email address: [email protected]
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Subject: A new Car / Auto Accident question has been posted on Avvo
The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Alabama. Responses are based solely on Alabama law unless stated otherwise.
They can do it and I have heard of this happening more and more of late. It does not sound like you have much in the way of assets, but it definitely be in your best interests to talk to a bankruptcy attorney to figure out your options.
Sadly, the amount of your coverage is limited by your contract with your insurance company. You purchase Bodily Injury Liability and Property Damage Liability from an automobile insurance company and believe; often mistakenly; that you are "covered."
However, the amount of damage to people and property can easily exceed the amount of protection you bought with your policy. A great number of my clients here in Florida walk out of an insurance agency thinking they have "Full Coverage." Usually that means that they have the state minimum and can then lawfully operate a motor vehicle, but it is hardly full coverage. The answer to your question is, unfortunately, "Yes, they can sue you for more coverage than you have."
Still, you might want to consult with a lawyer to try and minimize the risks, negotiate a lesser amount, and even consider Bankruptcy if necessary. Also, I would really suggest that you take a few minutes and call or see a personal injury lawyer to discuss what insurance you should get in the future. It will not help you for the current problem, but proper coverage (not just what the insurance salesman sells you) may save you and your family a lot of grief in the future. Good luck!
Vance B. Moore
If a person doesn't have adequate insurance to cover an accident, they can be liable for the excess.
I advise all my clients to get at least 100/300 coverage so they aren't stuck in a situation like this.
Licensed in PA & NJ. 29% Contingency Fee. Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com
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