Hi, I am Roger Ghai and I wanted to talk today about a question that I frequently get from folks who’ve been involved in car accidents, which is, “How much does the other driver’s insurance company have to pay me for my injuries?”
That’s a really good question. The maximum amount that they have to pay is the amount that they have insured the other driver for. For example, if the other driver is insured for $100,000, the insurance company only has to pay $100,000. It doesn’t mean that they’re required to pay the $100,000. At least, if the injuries are significant enough, they have to pay a maximum of $100,000.
For example, I have a case right now where the client has $92,000 in medical expenses. The other driver only has $100,000 of insurance coverage. In this particular case, the insurance companies agreed to pay the $100,000.
Now, if the insurance companies were to try to be difficult and pay $99,000, we could go ahead and sue the other driver and get what we call an excess verdict. Maybe we get a verdict at trial of $250,000. In that case, if that happened, and the insurance company had only offered $99,000, then even though their contract policy with their driver is $400,000, they would actually have to pay under Georgia law, the $250,000.
Generally speaking, the insurance companies are well aware of this rule. If a lawyer has a case, and there’s just not enough coverage involved, typically the insurance company is going to go ahead and what we call tender the entire the policy limits, which is what they did in this case.
If you have any questions about what amount the insurance company is obligated to pay you for your car wreck, feel free to call me at 770-792-1000.