It is an unfortunately prevalent notion that car accident attorneys file suit against the insurance company of the at-fault party. The at-fault party is typically the named defendant. For example, John Doe may be represented by Allstate Insurance but the suit will be against John Doe. However, the insurance company stands behind the at-fault party and it pays for the damages in a personal injury case. This is due to the indemnification agreement between the at-fault party and his or her insurance which states the insurance company is responsible for paying the damages (up to a policy limit). However, in the case where the damages are higher than the policy limits, the attorney will then typically obtain compensation from the client’s underinsured motorist coverage.
If the client does not have underinsured motorist coverage, or if the underinsured motorist coverage is insufficient, then the attorney may choose to file suit in order to recover damages from both the insurance proceeds and the at-fault party’s reachable assets. Oftentimes there are no reachable assets in this situation leaving the client with a deficient settlement. This is why it is very important to have underinsured motorist coverage. It should also be noted that with the insufficient insurance coverage situation there are strategies to maximize the net recovery to the client. It is prudent to have ample underinsured motorist coverage because often the persons who are drunk drivers and cause the most severe injuries are driving with low insurance limits.
If you or a friend has been in an accident it is very important that you consult with legal counsel to assure you get the best recovery possible. Contact us today for a free consultation to see how we can help you.