Every once in a while, one of our car accident attorneys in Atlanta gets a phone call from a new client. When they call, they explain that they got into an accident and that the other party’s insurance carrier paid their claim. However, they also tell us that the defendant’s insurance policy was not large enough to cover all of their damages.
They want to meet with one of our Atlanta car accident lawyers to see if it makes sense to sue the other driver for the remaining amount. Here, we will discuss how to go about making this decision. If you are currently dealing with this type of situation, call our office and schedule your free, initial consultation today.
When You Purchase Your Auto Insurance, You Choose Your Policy Limits
Everybody who drives in the state of Georgia is required to carry auto insurance. When you first purchase your insurance policy, your insurance agent is going to ask you what kind of coverage you want. Typically, they will give you the option of two or three different policies.
The more expensive policies typically provide you with a lot more coverage than the other policies. If you opt for the cheapest policy, which a lot of people do, don’t be surprised if your policy limits are low. 99% of the time, this is not an issue. It’s that 1% of the time when you get into a car accident and find out that your policy doesn’t cover all the other driver’s damages you have a problem.
If this is what has happened in your case, and the shoe is on the other foot, you’re going to be angry. Rather than taking things personally, we suggest that you talk to one of our Atlanta car accident lawyers before you do anything you may regret.
Finding out that the defendant’s insurance policy limits don’t cover 100% of your damages is disappointing. However, it is not the end of the world. There’s a good chance that you received a significant amount in damages from their insurance carrier.
Depending on how much remains, your accident attorney in Atlanta will more than likely try to settle with the other party. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense to file a lawsuit against somebody when you’ve already received 75 %or 80% of your damages.
Some Drivers Would Rather Take on More Risk in Exchange for a Lower Premium
For some people, especially those who are driving a brand-new car, there aren’t many options when it comes to purchasing insurance. If you’re financing your car or it’s a leased vehicle, you’re required to carry full coverage.
If, however, your car is paid off, the law only requires that you carry liability. Depending on the terms of your policy, you may not be insured for enough money to cover the damages caused in a serious car accident. If the other driver in your crash chose the least expensive option, there is a very good chance that their insurance policy will only cover part of your damages.
If this is the case, it’s in your best interest to call one of our Atlanta car accident lawyers right away. They will take a look at your claim and the other party’s insurance policy and determine what your best options are
You Want to Avoid Taking Legal Action if at All Possible
As with most things, if there is a chance that your Atlanta car accident lawyer can avoid legal action, you would want to move in that direction. Filing a lawsuit against somebody is not only expensive, but it can be time-consuming as well.
If the insurance carrier has already paid your claim, you need to seriously consider whether it’s worth pursuing further legal action against the other driver. Filing a personal injury lawsuit against somebody does not guarantee that you’ll ever be paid.
Many of our accident attorneys in Atlanta have secured judgments against defendants only to find out that they have no assets. You want to make sure that you and your lawyer sit down and really think about the pros and cons of filing suit against the other party before you make any final decisions.
Your Accident Attorney in Atlanta Will Do What They Can to Get You the Compensation You Deserve
If you were involved in a car accident, whether your claim is paid depends on who was at fault. Regardless of the circumstances, almost every new client our accident attorneys in Atlanta meet insists that the other driver was at fault. The other driver is probably sitting in their own attorney’s office saying the same thing. Proving who was at fault is not always black and white.
Your Atlanta car accident lawyer may need to dig deep to find evidence to prove that the other driver was at fault. If they are able to do this, then there is a good chance that your insurance claim will be paid.
The problem is if the defendant’s policy limits are low, it may not cover all of your damages. This means that your accident attorney in Atlanta may have to file suit against the other driver even though the insurance company paid your claim.
When you’re in this position, you really have to weigh the risk of wasting a ton of money to sue the other party versus the risk of losing. The court may look at it and think that you got ample compensation through the insurance carrier. If this is the case, the judge may order you to pay the defendant’s attorney fees.
Before you make any final decisions on this matter, it’s really a good idea to sit down with an experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer who can answer your questions and give you their professional opinion.
We offer new clients a free, initial consultation. This means you can sit down and discuss your case with a seasoned attorney for no charge. In fact, we suggest you call today so that we can set up a date and time to meet.