What Happens When Car Accident Claim Exceeds Insurance Limits?

what happens when car accident claim exceeds insurance limits

In the aftermath of a car accident, navigating the complexities of insurance coverage can be overwhelming, especially if the claim exceeds the policy limits. Understanding the implications of such a scenario is crucial for accident victims seeking rightful compensation. Let’s delve into what happens when a car accident claim exceeds insurance limits and explore the available options for obtaining the compensation you deserve.

The Basics: Car Insurance Policy Limits

Before we explore the ramifications of surpassing insurance limits, it’s crucial to grasp the concept of car insurance policy limits. Essentially, policy limits refer to the maximum amount your insurance provider is obligated to pay for covered losses in the event of an accident. These limits are outlined in your insurance policy and typically include separate amounts for bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage.

For instance, if your policy has a bodily injury limit of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident, the insurer will not pay more than these specified amounts, regardless of the total cost of the damages incurred.

How Often Do Auto Accident Claims Exceed Policy Limits?

Auto accident claims exceeding policy limits are more common than one might think, especially in cases involving severe injuries or significant property damage. The severity of the accident and the extent of damages often determine whether the claim surpasses the insurance limits. Factors such as medical bills, lost wages, and ongoing rehabilitation can quickly escalate the total cost of a claim beyond what insurance coverage provides.

What Happens If Your Medical Bills Exceed Policy Limits?

If your medical bills exceed the insurance policy limits, you may find yourself facing substantial financial burden. In such cases, you may have to rely on other sources of coverage or pursue legal action to recover additional compensation. Dealing with mounting medical expenses while trying to recover from injuries can add immense stress to an already challenging situation.

Consequences of Exceeding Insurance Limits

When a car accident claim surpasses the insurance limits of the at-fault driver, several potential consequences may arise:

  1. Out-of-Pocket Expenses: If your medical bills, vehicle repair costs, or other damages exceed the insurance coverage, you may be responsible for paying the difference out of pocket.

  2. Limited Compensation: The insurance company will only pay up to the specified policy limits, regardless of the actual damages incurred. This can leave accident victims facing significant financial burdens, particularly if they have sustained severe injuries or disabilities.

  3. Legal Implications: If you decide to pursue legal action against the at-fault driver for additional compensation, you may encounter challenges, especially if the driver’s insurance coverage is insufficient to cover your losses.

  4. Emotional Distress: Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident, coupled with the stress of insurance claims and legal proceedings, can cause significant emotional distress for victims.

Can You Sue for More Than Insurance Limits?

Yes, you can sue for more than the insurance limits if your damages exceed the coverage provided by the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. This often involves filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party to seek compensation for the remaining damages. However, it’s essential to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to assess the viability of your case and explore your legal options.

How to Get Additional Compensation If Your Claim Exceeds Insurance Limits

If your car accident claim exceeds insurance limits, there are several avenues you can explore to pursue additional compensation:

File a Claim with a Car Insurance Umbrella Policy

Some individuals may have umbrella insurance policies that provide additional coverage beyond the limits of their primary auto insurance policy. Filing a claim with an umbrella policy can help bridge the gap between the insurance limits and the total cost of the claim. However, not everyone has umbrella coverage, so this option may not be available to all accident victims.

Utilizing Underinsured Motorist Coverage:

Underinsured motorist coverage is designed to provide protection in situations where the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage is insufficient to cover the full extent of the damages. By filing a claim with your own insurance company under your underinsured motorist coverage, you may be able to recover additional compensation to bridge the gap between the other driver’s policy limits and your total losses.

File a Lawsuit If Your Claim Exceeds Insurance Limits

If all other avenues for compensation have been exhausted, filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party may be necessary to recover the remaining damages. A personal injury lawsuit allows you to seek financial compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses resulting from the accident.

Filing a lawsuit when your auto accident settlements exceed insurance limits is a complex process. Here’s a concise guide to help you navigate it effectively:

  1. Assess Your Case: Evaluate the strength of your case, considering factors like injuries, liability, and available evidence.

  2. Gather Evidence: Collect relevant documentation such as medical records, police reports, and witness statements to support your claim.

  3. Notify the At-Fault Party: Send a demand letter outlining your claim and a deadline for response.

  4. File the Lawsuit: Submit a complaint to the court detailing your case and pay the filing fee.

  5. Serve the At-Fault Party: Ensure the at-fault party is officially notified of the lawsuit.

  6. Discovery Phase: Exchange information and evidence with the other party through interrogatories, document requests, and depositions.

  7. Negotiate Settlement: Attempt to reach a car accident settlement with the at-fault party or their insurance company.

  8. Trial: If no settlement is reached, proceed to trial where both sides present arguments and evidence.

How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help with Your Case

When you’re involved in a car accident, navigating the complex legal process can be overwhelming, especially while dealing with the physical and emotional aftermath of the incident. In such situations, enlisting the help of a skilled car accident lawyer can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. Here’s how a car accident lawyer can assist you every step of the way:

  1. Legal Expertise and Guidance: Car accident lawyers specialize in personal injury law and can provide knowledgeable guidance throughout the claims process, ensuring your rights are protected.

  2. Investigation and Evidence Collection: They conduct thorough investigations into the accident, gathering crucial evidence like reports, witness statements, and medical records to establish liability and damages.

  3. Negotiating with Insurance Companies: Skilled negotiators, they engage with insurance adjusters to advocate for fair compensation, countering tactics aimed at minimizing payouts.

  4. Assessing Damages: Car accident lawyers accurately assess all damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, working with experts to quantify losses.

  5. Litigation Representation: In cases where negotiations fail, they represent clients in court, preparing legal arguments, presenting evidence, and advocating for their rights before a judge and jury.

what happens when car accident claim exceeds insurance limits

Discover Your Path to Fair Compensation with BLG

Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming, especially when the claim exceeds insurance limits. Understanding your rights and options for obtaining additional compensation is crucial for ensuring that you receive the full extent of damages you are entitled to. By exploring alternative sources of coverage and seeking legal guidance when needed, you can navigate the complexities of insurance claims and work towards rebuilding your life after a devastating accident.

Are you struggling to recover from a car accident that has left you facing overwhelming medical bills and financial strain? Don’t wait any longer to take action. Contact BLG, your trusted allies in the fight for justice and fair compensation. Our experienced team of personal injury attorneys is ready to stand by your side, advocate for your rights, and help you navigate the complexities of your case.

Contact us today for a free consultation.


What is the maximum the insurance company will pay per accident?

Your insurer will cover up to $100,000 for bodily injuries per accident. Additionally, they will pay a maximum of $30,000 for property damage per accident, which includes expenses like repairing the other driver’s vehicle if you were at fault in the accident.

What is a claim in excess of policy limits?

A claim in excess of policy limits occurs when the damages or losses resulting from an incident exceed the coverage limits specified in auto insurance policies. In such cases, the policyholder may be responsible for paying the remaining costs out of pocket.

What happens when a car accident claim exceeds insurance limits?

When a car accident claim exceeds the insurance limits, the policyholder may be personally liable for the additional expenses not covered by their insurance policy. This could result in the policyholder having to pay out-of-pocket for damages, legal fees, or other costs associated with the claim.

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