Some auto accidents result in injuries that take a few weeks or months to heal. Usually, the at-fault driver’s liability insurance has a high enough limit to cover medical bills and other damages from these crashes.
However, there are some crashes that can result in devastating, life-altering injuries. Victims are left with permanent disabilities/limitations and must make significant changes to their everyday lives. Victims’ damages could easily exceed the at-fault driver’s liability insurance limits.
Where do victims turn for the additional compensation that they need?
Fortunately, there are options for obtaining additional compensation beyond the policy limits of the at-fault driver’s insurance. The experienced Lafayette-based auto accident attorneys at Galloway Jefcoat know how to pursue full compensation for the damages you suffered in a crash.
Schedule a free consultation to learn more about our services and the benefits of legal representation.
Filing a Claim for a Devastating Injury
Louisiana assigns financial responsibility for damages to the at-fault driver. That is why the state requires drivers to purchase liability insurance to pay for damages from a crash they cause.
Each driver must decide how much liability insurance he or she can afford to purchase. However, there is a limit to this coverage. That means you cannot recover more than the limit purchased in a liability insurance claim. For example, if the other driver has $100,000 in liability coverage, you cannot recover more than $100,000 from the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.
Filing a Lawsuit Against the At-Fault Driver
If your damages exceed the at-fault driver’s policy limits, you will need to seek additional compensation from somewhere else. If the at-fault driver has assets to cover your damages, it may be possible to file a lawsuit against him or her.
Filing an Underinsured Motorist Claim
Underinsured motorist claims do not happen very often. When they do, your lawyer will look to file a claim against the underinsured motorist coverage in your own car insurance policy. This coverage pays for damages that exceed the value of the at-fault driver’s liability insurance.
Your lawyer would likely need to prove your damages exceed the limits of liability insurance. He or she would need to provide evidence linking your damages to the crash. Even though underinsured motorist coverage is from your policy, the insurance company will be looking for some way to deny your claim.
Taking the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company to Court
It may be possible to file a lawsuit to seek additional compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. When a car accident case goes to trial, juries are not concerned with insurance policy limits. They may be able to award more than the policy limits.
That is why insurance companies often want to avoid going to court. Settling a claim costs them much less money and takes up much less time.
It is important to note in Louisiana, lawsuits over car crashes are typically filed against the insurance company, not the at-fault driver. That is because Louisiana is a Direct Action state. In other states, lawsuits are filed against the at-fault driver.
Seeking Compensation From a Third Party
Sometimes car crashes involve more than two drivers. If a third driver bears some percentage of fault, you may also be able to seek compensation from that driver’s liability insurance.
If the third party is a product manufacturer or government entity, your attorney may be able to pursue compensation from them.
However, third-party claims are complex, which is why it is vital to seek help from a licensed attorney. The attorneys at Galloway Jefcoat have the resources and legal knowledge to investigate a crash and build a strong case. We also have the experience and track record of success with negotiating claims and taking cases to court.
Some drivers choose to buy umbrella insurance to protect their assets if they cause an injury to another person. This is additional protection beyond car insurance for situations where the victims suffer catastrophic injuries.
Umbrella insurance may be another option for seeking compensation for damages that exceed the at-fault driver’s liability insurance limits.
Contact Galloway Jefcoat to Discuss Your Crash Claim
For decades, our attorneys have been helping crash victims and victims of other types of accidents secure compensation for their damages. We have a proven track record and there are no financial risks with our services. We do not charge upfront fees or any fees while working on your case.
The legal process can be time-consuming and complex, which is why you should strongly consider seeking legal help. You do not need to go through this process alone.
We are here to help. Give us a call: (337) 984-8020.