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Can I Sue for More Than the Auto Insurance Policy Is Worth?

Car accidents are scary and stressful, even more so if you’re injured. Worries like the cost of medical treatment and how you’ll get to work can overwhelm you. If your damages exceed what the other driver’s insurance company will cover, you may struggle to pay your accident-related expenses.

Learn if you can sue for more than the driver’s auto insurance policy and how a car accident attorney from Brian Hodgkiss Injury Law Firm can help you determine your best course of action.

Types of Auto Coverage

Six common types of auto insurance coverage include liability, comprehensive, uninsured/underinsured motorist, collision, major medical, and personal injury. Not every driver has every type. Wisconsin requires liability coverage of at least these amounts:

  • $10,000 for property damage
  • $25,000 for the injury or death of one person
  • $50,000 for the injury or death of more than one person

Liability insurance covers medical bills and property damage. If you sue a driver, their bodily injury liability coverage will include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Their property damage liability coverage will pay for damage to any property caused by the vehicle and defense and court costs.

Collision insurance only covers the driver’s vehicle. Comprehensive coverage includes damage from hitting animals on the road, but not collisions that the driver causes. MedPay covers the driver or passengers in the driver’s car.

Personal injury protection coverage is not currently available in Wisconsin. Uninsured/underinsured driver coverage protects the driver when the at-fault driver doesn’t have liability coverage, or the limits are lower than the damages.

Wisconsin requires uninsured motorist coverage with a lower limit of $25,000 for one person and $50,000 for two or more people for bodily injury coverage.

Understanding Insurance Policy Limits

Property damage limits apply to damage to your vehicle and may include damage to anything in your vehicle. Wisconsin’s lower coverage limit is $10,000, but many drivers opt for more extensive insurance policies.

Bodily injury limits cover ambulance rides, hospital stays, doctor visits, physical therapy, loss of income, and pain and suffering. The lower coverage limit for Wisconsin drivers is $25,000 for one injured person and $50,000 for more than one injured person. If the injuries are severe, those amounts often don’t provide enough to cover all costs.

Suing for More Than the Policy Limit

You can’t sue the insurance company for more than the limit listed in the policy, but you can sue the driver who caused your accident. However, the driver may not have much in personal assets in most cases, so suing them personally likely won’t yield compensatory results.

Getting legal advice from a car accident lawyer can help you determine whether a lawsuit against the driver will be worthwhile and help you understand your options for compensation. 

Other Ways to Pursue Financial Compensation

If your damages far exceed the other driver’s policy limits, you have some options. The other driver may have an umbrella policy, you may have underinsured motorist coverage, or multiple people may share responsibility for your crash.

How umbrella insurance works

An umbrella policy offers liability coverage in addition to what the auto policy covers. If the other driver has an umbrella policy, your lawyer can negotiate with that insurance company for compensation.

Underinsured motorist policy

Uninsured motorist insurance covers the costs of an accident when a driver injures someone without carrying the required minimum liability insurance. If you have an underinsured motorist policy in your name, you can file a claim for compensation for an accident.

Filing a Lawsuit Against Multiple Parties

If the at-fault driver worked for a commercial company and was driving as part of the job, the company may share liability with the driver. If the driver or the company did not properly maintain the vehicle or the driver experienced fatigue related to illegal company policies, you may have a personal injury claim against the company.

When multiple drivers are at fault for your injuries, you can pursue a case against all of them. If poor road maintenance or overgrown brush near a corner contributed to your crash, you may have a claim against the municipality responsible for the road.

Get a Free Case Review

At Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers, we offer a personal, compassionate approach. We get to know our clients, and their needs are our highest priority. We frequently communicate with our clients and schedule appointments at their convenience. We can help you get your life back to normal.

We have extensive experience helping people with insurance claims. We determine who was at fault, calculate a fair settlement, and negotiate with the insurance companies. If necessary, we can take your case to trial. We have a network of expert witnesses who can help a jury understand your losses.

Contact an Appleton car crash lawyer with Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers for a free consultation today.

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