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I have underinsured coverage 250,000. Ive had 3 major surgeries and medical expenses exceeding 200,000. Recovery is unknown.

Los Angeles, CA |

The agent that my attorney talked to said that the driver has a good policy and that going after my underinsured coverage will not be necessary. what does this suggest? The policy was not disclosed any further upon an initial inquiry, but if the liability is clear and the surgeries/other injuries are proven to be caused by my accident, what can I approximately expect to recover? My lawyer said that he has only seen policies at increments of 500,000 to above a million based on the limited information the insurance agent of the driver provided.

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Attorney answers 7


"Has a good policy" ? I am not sure what that means. You should know exactly what type of coverage is available by the at fault policy. Your injuries are significant and appears on the limited facts that you have provided make it appear that your claim has significant value. Generally, these cases need to be litigated in order to get true value out of them so hopefully you and your attorney can make that determination together. Your attorney should secure not only documentation of policies but also make sure there are no other sources such as umbrella policies. That is a must...I do not speak to insurance agents about policies as they must be confirmed with actual dec pages. Go talk to your attorney.


Your own attorney would be in the best position to discuss this with you. You were seriously injured - in Indiana where I practice some insurance carriers will disclose policy limits initially and others will not do so pursuant to the privacy act. However, if sufficient documentation - medical bills and records - are submitted then they will disclose the limits, if disclosure is warranted based on the documentation. If there is any question regarding other policies etc. with additional limits then usually a lawsuit must be filed, although sometimes this information can be obtained pre-suit.

Merry Fountain is licensed to practice law in Indiana. She can be contacted at 1-888-242-HURT. This is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney/client relationship. It is legal education intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. If the question does not include important timeframes and facts the answer could change. Merry Fountain strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state.


I agree that your attorney needs to know the exact liability limits of the policy and, thereafter, of the at-fault party's ability to respond in damages if your damages are likely to exceed policy limits. Your attorney will probably have to file suit on your claim to learn the true policy limits and for you to receive full value on your case.

Your underinsured motorist coverage will only kick in if the other driver's limits are under $250K. Then, you get the difference under the UIM coverage -- a maximum of $250K under both policies.

What is a "good policy" with high limits is open to interpretation. What can you expect to recover? That depends on a multitude of factors. No one here can advise you regarding that. You should rely on your lawyer, and no one else, for the evaluation of your case.

SINCE 1974. My answers are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers assume California law. I am licensed in California, only. Answers must not be relied upon. Legal advice and counsel must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. I provide legal advice and counsel during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice or counsel in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an attorney for advice and counsel. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference


Ask these questions to your attorney.


Your lawyer would know best


I get cases like yours all the time where my client's injuries are worth far more than the at fault driver's policy limits. I usually hire a private investigator to do a complete nationwide asset search on the at fault driver and on his employer if any. I would immediately find out what assets the other driver has and how large his policy was. (make sure to look out for umbrella insurance, people who have $100k plus policies may also have umbrella coverage that may go into the millions). Also, id want to do research to see if there were any other parties that could be held liable. For example, if there was a defect in any of the vehicles involved in the accident, you may be able to collect against the dealer or manufacturer of the vehicle. The most common defects are poorly maintained breaks or tire tread that comes apart at high speeds. In any case, sounds like more research is needed.


With your injuries and surgeries it would be a good idea to file the law suit right away. Why wait especially since courts are setting cases out for trial over a year after filing in downtown los angeles which iz where your suit has to be filed. Then you can do your written discovery and get all the details under oath from defendant.

Answering this question is not an agreement to represent the recipient or others. This answer is an opinion based upon the limited facts supplied and further research and analysis is required to render a full legal opinion. This opinion is that of the Law Offices of Dennis P. Wilson and is only premised upon California law and is not meant to be utilized in any other jurisdiction.

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