It is called personal injury because claims, like people, are unique to each individual person. I suggest you shop around. Attorney fees are negotiable, but remember - good lawyers aren't cheap and cheap lawyers are good.
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What you need to do is check your own policy coverages. If you have UNinsured motorist coverage, you also have UNDERinsured (UIM) motorist coverage. If the limit of your UIM coverage on your own auto insurance policy is more than $25,000, you could collect the overage through your own carrier. A good personal injury attorney could get to the bottom of this issue fairly quickly.
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Unfortunately it is extremely difficult to recover money from individuals above their policy limits. The boy's insurance company will not pay you the 25k policy limit unless you sign a Release of All Claims against the boy which means you would agree to accept the 25k for all damages against the boy and could not seek more money. You could approach the boy and see if he would be willing to pay money above his policy and include cash payment and the policy limit in the Release. You could also file a lawsuit, get a verdict and try to collect against the boy and his insurance would pay the first 25k. But, I wouldn't recommend that because it would probably cost that much to get your judgment. Furthermore, once you got the judgment, the boy could probably file bankruptcy and discharge the judgment. Unless the boy is wealthy it is unlikely you will recover any money from him beyond his policy. You should do a background check on him to see if he is likely to have money to cover your losses. You can always negotiate with him directly. You should investigate if there are any other sources of recovery such as; (1) Was he on job at time? (2) Ny other cause of this accident besides his negligence? Also, did you have uninsured motorist coverage with a policy limit of more than $25k? If so, you could make a claim against your own policy. Good luck. Glenn Guenard / firstname.lastname@example.org
If the this boy's liabilty policy limit is $25,000, it is doubtful that it would be financially beneficial for you to pursue a judgment for more than the policy. It is just not likely this person has enough money or financial worth to make up for the cost of getting the judgment. However, it is a good idea to do a background/asset check to be sure.
The best case scenario, as discussed in other answers, is that you have uninsured motorist coverage that exceeds the $25,000 liability policy. In that situation, you will have an "under-insured" motorist claim up to the difference between your policy and the $25,000. For instance, if you had $50,000 uninsured motorist coverage, you would have a claim up to an additional $25,000 after you settled for the boy's policy limit.
Lastly, an attorney may be of benefit to you even if the $25,000 is all there is to recover. A good personal injury attorney can reduce the medical bills so that you can take more of the settlement funds. However, 40% is simply too much to charge a client for this kind of case. You should shop around.
Feel free to call me tomorrow if you would like to discuss this situation further - (916)774-7200.
There is not really a standard template for a situation like this. It's best to consult with a good personal injury attorney in your area. Having good legal representation ensures the insurance company will be dealt with adequately and efficiently.
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