You generally cannot sue an insurance company for more than the insured’s auto accident policy limits. The policy limits are the maximum amount an insurer is responsible for paying.
However, you may be able to sue a liable party directly. Generally, this party will be the motorist who caused your accident. A Dallas car accident lawyer can help you prepare a lawsuit.
What Are the Minimum Auto Insurance Policy Limits in Texas?
Texas is an at-fault or tort insurance state for auto accidents. Thus, when a motorist causes an accident, their insurer must cover medical expenses and property damage for crash victims.
Texas motorists must have a minimum amount of auto insurance coverage. Abiding by these coverage limits ensures victims get some compensation for injuries or property damage—even if the recovery doesn’t account for all accident-related damages. Per the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), motorists in Texas must purchase this minimum coverage:
- $30,000 in liability coverage per person: This coverage applies to your accident-related medical costs from emergency transport and care, hospitalizations, and other medical services.
- $60,000 in liability coverage per accident: While the insurance company provides maximum medical coverage of $30,000 per person, that limit rises to $60,000 if multiple people suffer injuries.
- $25,000 in property damage coverage per accident: This figure offers substantial compensation for repairing or replacing another person’s damaged vehicle.
These minimum coverage amounts could prove beneficial following a collision. However, the minimum coverage doesn’t always cover all accident-related losses.
Some Motorists May Have Higher Insurance Limits
Experienced motorists in Texas know a court might hold them personally liable if an accident victim’s damages exceed their insurance policy’s coverage limits. So, to protect themselves from personal litigation, a motorist may:
- Increase their coverage limits for injury liability.
- Purchase additional property damage liability coverage.
- Purchase other coverage, such as uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM).
Our team will review all insurance policies and determine how much compensation you qualify to receive from a liable motorist’s insurer.
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The First Stage of Negotiations Occurs With Insurance Companies
We will begin our pursuit of fair compensation for your accident-related losses by negotiating with any insurers that owe you compensation. If the at-fault motorist has valid insurance, we’ll likely negotiate with their insurer.
The negotiation process with an at-fault driver’s insurance company generally involves the following:
- Reviewing the other driver’s account of the accident.
- Establishing the insurance company’s policyholder’s responsibility for the crash.
- Providing the insurer with our calculation of your accident-related losses, including vehicle damage and medical expenses.
- Establishing the monetary value of your accident-related losses and demanding that amount through a settlement.
- Rebutting any arguments the insurer makes to avoid paying fair compensation for your losses.
Our attorneys never know how negotiations will unfold, so we’re always prepared for worst-case scenarios. However, we plan to emerge with all the compensation our client deserves in every case.
Tactics Insurance Companies Use to Avoid Paying Fair Compensation
Insurers always look out for their commercial interests. However, our firm is fully aware of this fact, so we’re prepared to counter any bad-faith tactics insurers may use in your case:
- Shifting fault: An insurance company may claim you are partially or fully responsible for the wreck. So, we will gather evidence to dispute such claims.
- Undervaluing your losses: A liable insurer might miscalculate your accident-related losses. If you merely accept the insurer’s calculation, it could get away with the undervaluation. Our firm will independently evaluate your damages and hold any liable insurer responsible for what it owes.
- Offering an insufficient settlement: Some accident victims will accept quick settlements, even if it doesn’t adequately cover their losses. That’s why many insurers offer lowball settlements. However, our firm will evaluate any offer and advise you about its fairness.
- Denying your claim: An insurance company may deny your claim, giving unclear or flimsy reasoning. The insurer may hope you won’t challenge its denial. However, our firm will challenge the denial and continue to press for fair compensation.
- Using hardball negotiation tactics: Insurance companies often employ seasoned negotiators. Thus, we expect a fight when seeking fair compensation for a client’s car accident losses.
You may face additional tactics when seeking compensation for a motor vehicle accident. Thus, hiring an attorney to overcome these challenges might benefit your health—and your wallet.
Should I Sue a Liable Motorist if Insurance Won’t Cover All My Damages?
We can help you determine if a lawsuit is a wise course of action. However, even after you file a lawsuit, an insurance company may continue negotiating. A lawsuit just means you’re seeking compensation from the individual liable for your accident—which may be a motorist or another party, such as a mechanic.
If the liable party does not have personal assets or cannot pay for your accident-related damages, a lawsuit might not make sense. So, we’ll determine the practicability of a lawsuit while reviewing the details of your accident.
Can I Accept an Insurance Settlement, Then Sue Liable Parties for Additional Compensation?
No. Once you accept compensation from an insurer, you generally release all liable parties from financial responsibility. Hence, it’s critical to consult a lawyer to review your damages, review financial offers, and determine how to proceed.
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Contact Loncar Lyon Jenkins Today for a Free Consultation
A Texas car accident lawyer generally faces various deadlines in auto accident claims—including a deadline for filing a lawsuit. So, if you wait too long to speak with our team, you could prevent us from filing your case before the deadline expires.
Contact Loncar Lyon Jenkins today for a free consultation. There are no upfront fees to speak with our team, and you’re under no obligation to work with us.