If you have coverage for a vehicle you own or a relative with whom you live has insurance, and it has underinsured motorist coverage higher than the amount of the limits offered you by the at fault driver, you can make an underinsured motorist claim for addl money.
Her coverage limit is supposed to include claims for both economic (i.e., medical bills) and non-economic (i.e., pain & suffering) damages. However, you should seriously consider consulting with a local personal injury attorney to see if there are any other avenues to pursue in getting you the maximum compensation that you deserve.
Ms. Berjis is licensed to practice law in the State of California. The laws of your jurisdiction may differ and thus this answer is for informational and educational purposes only and is not to be considered as legal advice. Since all facts are not addressed in the question, this answer could change depending on other significant and important facts. This answer in no way constitutes an attorney-client relationship.
Unlike the driver of your car, yes, you could recover for pain and suffering, but if you are already being offered the policy limit, the only way to recover more would be to find assets of the defendant or find additional defendants, but it doesn't sound like there are any. If you don't have a lawyer, you should sit down with one and at least have a consult to review your options.
Sounds like the typical scenario where are insurance company is taking advantage of an unrepresented person. They know that most people net out far better with a lawyer than without a lawyer. Contact a local and qualified personal injury litigation attorney now. Good luck.
Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff www.nyelderinjurylaw.com
You need to speak to an attorney ASAP. There are many issues that exist here and you need a Personal injury attorney to go over each one with you. As a passenger in a car, you have certain rights. You may also have your own UM/UIM insurance that may cover you. I would highly recommend speaking to an attorney before speaking to the insurance company. Many firms, including my own, offer free consultations.
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Assuming the offer was the liability policy limit, that is the most the insurance policy will pay to cover the other driver's "liability" which, for bodily injury, includes medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering. So, if you accept the policy limit and sign a release, you cannot get any more money. If you have your own auto insurance policy with uninsured motorist coverage and that policy limit is higher than the other driver's liability limit, you can claim the difference between the policy amounts as "under-insured" motorist benefits.
Hopefully you will be able to satisfy your medical bills or medical insurance reimbursement out of the available insurance money and have something left over for you. Depending on who is claiming what for medical expenses, you may need to talk to a personal injury lawyer.
You may be entitled to be fully compensated not only for your medical bills but for pain & suffering since you were a passenger. However, if you were also the owner of the vehicle that you were riding in, you would be limited to medical expenses because your vehicle is uninsured. If you were a passenger in someone else’s uninsured vehicle your damages would NOT be limited to medical expenses but include pain & suffering damages. You should contact an attorney immediately and do not talk to or make any settlement with the insurance company until after seeing an attorney.
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Since you were the passenger of the uninsured vehicle you are entitled to recover for all damages caused by the collision, including pain and suffering. If the at-fault driver has insufficient insurance to cover all your losses (medical expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering), you should consult with an attorney in your area before you accept the policy limits offer.
If the policy for the vehicle in which you were riding has underinsured motorist coverage with a limit in excess of the policy limits of the driver that hit you, you may be able to receive additional funds there. For more information on underinsured motorist claims go to our blog:
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If you have your own auto insurance policy and have Underinsured Motorist coverage, then you may be able to recover additional damages beyond the third party at fault defendant's policy limits. Not only for your pain and suffering but the overall amount of your claim including medical bills, future medical costs, loss of earnings, future lost wages.
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