If you are injured in an auto crash caused by a negligent driver, you will need to file a claim for compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering with his insurance company. An important piece of information you will need before you can settle your claim is the amount of insurance coverage the driver has. While asking his insurance company to tell you what it is may seem like no big deal, it can become a huge hassle if the adjuster refuses to provide you with this information. What can you do to find out the policy limit when the insurance company refuses to cooperate and tell you?
Why It Is Important to Know the Other Driver’s Insurance Coverage
Every automobile insurance policy has a policy limit—the maximum amount the insurance company is required to pay you for your injuries. In Georgia, motorists are required to have a minimum of $25,000 in liability insurance for the injury or death of one person and $50,000 for the injury or death of more than one person in a single accident. Motorists are also required to have $25,000 in property damage coverage. Some people realize that this minimum required insurance is not sufficient and will purchase additional coverage.
You need to know the other driver’s insurance policy limits to make important decisions in regards to your case. Here’s why knowing the policy limit is crucial:
- You should not settle your claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company unless you know his insurance coverage. Otherwise, you could end up accepting less than you are entitled to because you think there is less insurance to pay you.
- If the driver only has the minimum required insurance of $25,000 per person, this amount may be insufficient to fully compensate you. You may decide to make a claim under your own health insurance policy to pay for your medical bills. In addition, if you purchased collision or underinsured motorist coverage, you could file a claim for your car repairs and the medical bills, lost wages, and emotional trauma damages not covered by the other driver’s policy with your own insurance company.
- If you do not have health insurance, you may decide on more conservative medical treatments if the negligent driver only has $25,000 in liability coverage to avoid having too many out-of-pocket expenses.
How Can You Learn the Other Driver’s Policy Limits When the Insurance Company Won’t Tell You?
Fortunately, there are a number of options for discovering the driver’s insurance policy limits. Here’s what you need to do to find out this critical information:
- Ask the driver. The police report will have the contact information for the negligent driver. You could call him and ask him what his policy limit is. He may voluntarily tell you—especially if you contact him soon after the accident before he contacts his insurance company and they most likely advise him not to talk to you.
- Send a demand letter. You could send a letter to the insurance company demanding this information and offering to settle your case for the full policy limit if they also provide proof that the at-fault driver has no assets of his own to pay you. If you plan to take this route, it is best to hire an experienced car accident attorney who can write your letter and include documentation to prove that you are entitled to the policy limits. In addition, you never want to settle your claim without the advice of an attorney to be certain that you receive what you are owed.
- Get help from your insurance company. If you file a claim with your insurance company for your car repairs, your adjuster may be able to obtain this information for you. The negligent driver’s adjuster may be more willing to provide it to another insurance company.
- Sue the negligent driver. Once your attorney files a lawsuit against the negligent driver, he can force the insurance company to disclose the policy limits by filing a formal request for this information through the lawsuit.
Were you hurt in a car crash caused by a negligent driver? Fill out our online form to schedule a free case evaluation to learn more about your legal options and how Brauns Law can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.