Any injury can impact your life in major physical, emotional, and financial ways. While compensation cannot erase what happened, it provides resources for medical care, replaces lost income, and promotes stability during recovery. It helps to understand policy limit settlements and how to maximize compensation is critical after a catastrophic accident.
Pursuing fair damages through a personal injury claim brings not only financial means but also a sense of justice and closure. However, the legal process is highly complex, especially when navigating insurance policies, liability limits, and assets. An Atlanta personal injury attorney experienced in maximizing policy limit settlements is beneficial for obtaining full compensation after a life-altering accident.
How Insurance Policies and Limits Work
Insurance policies have set liability limits that dictate the maximum payouts the insurer will provide under that policy. For bodily injury claims, this is the most they will pay per injured person and in total per accident. For example, a policy with $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident means the insurer will pay no more than $100,000 to each person hurt, up to $300,000 total, even if more people were injured.
Understanding these liability limits is critical. Your attorney will determine all policies potentially applicable to the incident and the coverage available. This establishes the maximum possible compensation under the current policies.
Often gaps exist between your losses and the policy limits. However, you may be able to pursue further compensation through additional policies, personal assets, or an excess liability insurer if appropriate. A lawyer can help you explore these options so you are getting the best deal out of the situation.
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Why a Policy Limit Settlement Makes Sense
Settling your injury claim at the liable party’s full insurance policy limit often makes sense. It gets you the maximum payout under their main policy without having to go through litigation or wait. Keep in mind factors like clear liability, policy limits way below your damages, unknown defendants, or severe underinsured losses that may push you to take the full policy limit if offered.
Your attorney may also suggest settling at the policy limit after thoroughly checking assets and coverage. Limited policies and resources could make further action pointless. It could also become too burdensome versus what extra you might get.
While settling at the policy limit closes that main policy, you may still have other coverage options by claiming against umbrella or excess policies. Your attorney can determine if it is worthwhile to pursue these after settling at the primary limit. Even if you take the policy limit settlement, you may still be able to seek compensation from other sources if your losses exceed the settled amount.
How Settlement Offers Below the Policy Limits Are Handled
It is common for insurance companies to make unfair settlement offers. They hope that you will take less than the full policy coverage available. However, you should be aware of your rights and how much you can get.
Once you prove liability, the next step is to send a formal policy limits demand letter asserting every dollar justifiably owed. The letter is supported by documentation of extensive losses exceeding the policy maximums. This positions victims to pursue bad faith claims if the insurer unreasonably denies paying policy limits despite clear liability.
You should work with your attorney to make sure your legal rights and interests are protected. The lawyer will review the demand letter before it is sent to the insurer. With legal representation, it will give you the best position to get the most compensation possible within your policy limits.
Strategies for Calculating Maximum Policy Limits
Calculating accurate policy limits is one of the most complex yet critical tasks in securing maximum settlements. When done thoroughly, it requires diligence and creativity but pays off substantially for clients. You should be aware of the important investigative strategies lawyers use to uncover full coverage.
A lawyer will first carefully analyze the at-fault party’s primary auto liability policy, as this establishes the baseline bodily injury limits per person, per accident, and any aggregates. However, this is just the starting point. Attorneys search extensively for additional excess policies that can stack on top of the core coverage.
Lawyers also factor in variables eroding accessible limits, like claims from other injured parties tapping the same limited pool of funds and insurer expenses deducted from liability caps. Through tenaciously tracking down every detail, the full picture emerges. Attorneys only cease efforts once they identify the maximum justifiable policy limits demand for a client.
Holding Insurers Accountable for Bad Faith
Suppose an insurance provider flat-out denies a valid policy limit demand despite clear liability and losses exceeding the policy. In that case, one option may be pursuing a separate bad-faith claim against them. Essentially, this alleges the insurer unreasonably refused to settle within policy limits.
Winning this type of case can be tough. You have to definitively prove the insurer knowingly neglected their duty to cover damages, intentionally exposing the policyholder to financial risk. If you can demonstrate their bad faith, the court may rule the insurer must pay any verdict or settlement that exceeded the policy limits due to their reckless actions.
An attorney will carefully weigh if the facts warrant a bad faith claim. These cases require major resources to gather evidence and litigate extensively. It is a challenging uphill fight, but sometimes, it is needed to hold an egregious insurer responsible for breaching their obligations.
Get the Maximum Settlement You Deserve
If an injury turns your life upside down, reach out to our compassionate law firm. No settlement can make up for what happened, but forcing accountability and obtaining compensation is empowering. Our team will handle every frustrating insurance negotiation so you can focus on healing.
You have been through enough already. It is time to overcome obstacles to get the maximum compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free consultation to start fighting for your rights.