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December 3, 2020 | Gary Burger

How Do Policy Limits Affect My Case?

When you are in a car accident due to another driver's negligence, the settlement amount in your case will depend on the other driver's policy limit, among many other factors. When you begin the settlement process, you should have an understanding of auto insurance policy limits, state minimums, and what they mean for your case.

The experienced car accident lawyers of Burger Law feel it's important to keep their clients informed. If you have been in a car accidents, think you have a case, and have questions about receiving a car accident settlement, contact Burger Law. Discuss your case with us for free to find out how we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

How Do Policy Limits Affect My Case?

You've been in a car or truck accident caused by another driver. Already, it feels like your life has been turned upside down. Your injuries, from a simple broken bone to complicated brain and spine injuries, have an enormous effect on your life. One of the first questions that come to mind as the dust begins to settle is: how do I get compensation for this, and how much can I expect to get? To get the total amount of compensation your case calls for, you will most likely need to hire a skilled car accident lawyer. To answer the latter question, you need to know about policy limits.

What Are Policy Limits?

The policy limit refers to the minimum amount of insurance coverage a driver is required to carry in order to be legally allowed to drive. Looking at policy limits through the lens of personal injury law, the policy limit is the maximum amount the insurance company will agree to pay out after their client is involved in an accident for which the client is found to be at fault.

Different insurance plans have different limits depending on the company, the driver, and the policy the driver chooses to buy. However, there are laws in this country, put forth by individual states, that require drivers to have an insurance policy that will agree to pay at least a certain amount.

State Policy Limit Minimum Laws

If you drive a vehicle in the Greater St. Louis area, you are required by law to carry a minimum amount of car insurance on your vehicle. Both Missouri and Illinois have state laws mandating that drivers maintain liability insurance. Each state also specifies the minimum amount of coverage a driver's insurance must provide.

Minimum insurance limits are defined by three different limits: the amount that must cover injuries in an accident per person injured, the cap of coverage for injuries to multiple people in one accident, and the amount of coverage allotted for property damage per accident.

State Per Person Injured Injuries Per Accident

Property Damage
Missouri $25,000 $50,000 $25,000
Illinois $25,000 $50,000 $20,000

When you are hurt in an accident caused by another driver, the at-fault driver's insurance has to pay for your damages. The significance of policy limits in a car or truck accident case is that you, as a victim, know that the other party's insurance company will at least agree to pay a maximum of the state's required insurance limits. In other words, they cannot cap the maximum amount of compensation they will pay you at less than the state requires. If the at-fault driver carries a policy with a higher policy limit, you could potentially receive more than the state minimum, if that is the value of your case.

When The Policy Doesn't Cover Your Damages

The state sets policy limit minimums to try to provide reasonably enough coverage for most accidents. However, some cases are more expensive than these minimums. In accidents where multiple people were injured, the injuries were exceptionally severe, or there were resulting complications following the accident, you as the car accident victim may have sustained damages that exceed the at-fault driver's policy limit.

The insurance company will pay the policy limit, but no more. This means that you could be legally left with a settlement that does not entirely cover the medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages you've suffered. Turn to your car accident lawyer for counsel and assistance in obtaining additional compensation. Solutions could include an underinsured motorist coverage claim on your insurance, an additional lawsuit, and attempts to reduce medical liens. Talk to an experienced car accident lawyer with a proven record for help pursuing your rightful compensation when the policy limit doesn't cover it.

St. Louis Car Accident Help | Burger Law

To get the full settlement you deserve after your car accident, you need the help of a lawyer and law firm that cares about you and knows how to fight for you. The legal team of Burger Law has extensive knowledge of and experience in auto accident cases