Car accidents on California roadways often result in property damage and, in some cases, devastating injuries and fatalities.
When property damage, injury, or death occur, thousands of dollars in expenses can pile up.
Car crash victims may also suffer debilitating mental anguish.
In a perfect world, insurance policy accident claim compensation would cover these damages.
But sometimes, a victim’s costs exceed an insurance policy’s payout.
California Auto Insurance Requirements and Compensation for Accident Claim
All motorists on California roadways must carry minimum auto insurance liability coverage under California law.
Minimum coverage limits include:
- $15,000 for the death or injury of any one person;
- $30,000 for the death or injury of more than one person in any one accident; and
- $5,000 for property damage.
These minimums help pay for property damage and injuries to others when a person is an
at-fault driver in an auto accident. A car owner can also purchase higher coverage limits, but not everyone chooses to do so.
What Do I Do When My Car Accident Claim Exceeds Policy Limit?
If your damages exceed an at-fault party’s policy limits, there are other ways to secure compensation.
Your Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Policy
Your insurance may cover damages when the at-fault party is uninsured or underinsured.
However, your insurance company will require proof of the other party’s negligence and your damages.
Still, your uninsured/underinsured insurance may be your best bet for getting accident claim compensation in excess of that provided by the at-fault driver’s insurance.
Suing a Responsible Third Party
If multiple parties are responsible for your injury, you may be able to sue more than one at-fault driver. Common responsible third parties include:
- A third or fourth driver—In California, multiple at-fault parties are jointly liable for all economic damages (e.g., medical bills, lost wages) even if they were directly responsible for only a portion.
- Manufacturer of a defective auto part—For example, if your brakes failed to activate during a crash, a manufacturer may be liable for producing a faulty product,
- Employer of an at-fault driver—If an employee driving a company car or otherwise performing duties in the scope of their employment causes your accident, their employer may be liable for your damages.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you explore these and other options.
Call The Law Offices of Chuck Geerhart Today
If you or a loved one want to pursue compensation for a claim exceeding policy limits, the Law Office of Chuck Geerhart can help.
We have over 30 years of experience dealing with insurance companies and understand how the other side thinks.
When you choose the Law Office of Chuck Geerhart, you choose a firm that will go head-to-head with the at-fault party while offering personal attention from start to finish.
Contact us online or call us now at 415-577-4992 for a free consultation.