What Happens if Your Car Accident Damages Exceed Policy Coverage?

If you have been in a car accident, one of the most pressing questions on your mind is what happens if your settlement is worth more than your policy coverage in Texas. Although most times the answer is that it depends, collecting settlements for personal injuries can often involve many complexities that can be stressful to work through. 

An experienced car accident attorney will be able to work with you on how to proceed with your claim to get the best deal you can. If you are wondering what might happen if your car accident damage exceeds your policy coverage, here’s some information that will help you know how to proceed. 

If you’ve been injured by the negligence of another, you could hire any auto crash attorney near you, or you can hire a Houston attorney that focuses on automobile wreck lawsuits. Joe Stephens has been defending injury victims in Texas for over 3 decades from negligent individuals, companies, and greedy insurance companies. As a client focused auto wreck lawyer in Katy, Joe handles all cases personally, and his staff is always available to answer questions.

Can I Sue for More Than the Policy Limit in a Car Wreck?

You might be wondering if you can sue for damages exceeding the policy limit in a car wreck. In some cases, yes, but the settlement requires an understanding of Texas law.

Under Texas law, all drivers must have a valid auto insurance policy on their vehicles, including liability coverage in an accident. The law in Texas is that you must have at least $30,000 in coverage for injuries per person, which cannot exceed $60,000. Most insurance companies also have an additional $25,000 to cover any other property damage. 

Some drivers choose to add on more coverage. Generally, in the case of an accident, the liable party’s insurance company will pay up to the policy limits on behalf of the policyholder. When the victim wants to collect more than the policy limits in an accident, they and their auto accident attorney must seek after the personal assets of the liable party. 

Suppose your injuries, property damage, or any other losses you report from the accident exceed the party at faults policy limit. In that case, it’s a good idea to team up with a good Houston lawyer who has a well-rounded and thorough understanding of Texas law, auto accidents, and insurance policies. This way, you and your team can devise a plan to investigate into finding who was at fault, document your losses and/or injuries due to the accident, and proceed with getting you the compensation you deserve. 

How to Proceed When Your Car Wreck Claim Exceeds Insurance Limits

On the rare occasion that a claim exceeds the insurance limits, there are a few potential outcomes that could follow:

  • The claim results in a settlement where the driver at fault agrees to pay an additional personal contribution.
  • A jury will decide an “over limits” verdict against the defendant.
  • The plaintiff files a bad faith claim.

If the plaintiff files their claim and wins, they may collect their money from the defendant from any nonexempt property. The settlement could involve monetary compensation, the at-fault party’s place of primary residence, their car, wages, and furniture. Some examples of exempt property that could be fair game are a vacation home or other cars and possibly even some retirement accounts. 

Suppose your attorney has offered a reasonable settlement within policy limits that the other side rejected for some reason, and the court agrees you are owed compensation beyond the policy limits. In that case, the faulty party can legally go after their own insurance company for the money owed above the policy limit.

If You Were Injured in a Car Wreck, Call Houston Accident Attorney Joe Stephens 

Have you recently been involved in an accident? Are you wondering what might happen if the insurance policy limit is not enough to cover damages? Contact auto accident attorney Joe Stephens for a consultation so you can review your options and move forward. 

The Stephens Law Firm, Car Accident Lawyers handles auto accident lawsuits across Texas, including these Houston cities.