Policy limits establish the total amount of recovery available to you based on what the policy holder has through their insurance company. This is great for insurance companies but not so great if you have been seriously injured.
In Texas, motorists are required to have liability insurance with minimum limits of 30/60/25. This translates to up to $30,000 for injuries per person, up to a total of $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 of coverage for property damage. Of course, some drivers may have higher limits and commercially insured vehicles usually have much higher limits.
Notice that it is “up to” a certain dollar amount.
Insurance companies are businesses and they want to limit payouts as much as possible. Car insurance companies are notorious for offering low-ball settlements regardless of your injury severity. You should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney if this happens to you.
There are many factors insurance companies consider in a car accident. The obvious one is how severe are the injuries?
A person who has significant trauma due to an accident, like a brain bleed or broken bones, may be awarded the full policy limits available to them. Whereas, a person who suffered minor, soft tissue injuries, like whiplash, may receive a minimal award.
Another factor is the potential for multiple claimants. Once there are more than two claimants involved, it is a race to settle first and the amount potentially available to you begins to diminish significantly. There is only so much of a pie to go around – it is possible for one person to take half before the other claimants get a piece.
We know what you’re thinking – simply divide the total amount per accident by the number of claimants to determine how much each person gets – but that is not the rule.
Insurance claims in Texas operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Whichever claimant files and settles their claim first has the potential to receive the most money based on their injuries and medical bills.
What can I do to make sure my injuries and medical expenses are taken care of?
One of the best things responsible drivers can do for themselves before they’re in a car wreck is to ensure they have the right coverages on their own car insurance policy. Our attorneys recommend that you purchase as much insurance as you can, specifically, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Uninsured/Under Insured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM).
If you are hit by an at-fault driver, you should contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible. An experienced law firm will assess the situation, determine your best course of action, and begin building a winning legal strategy.
Stanley & Associates offers free consultations to all prospective clients. There’s truly no cost and no obligation – we want you to know your rights and options. Schedule your free consultation today. Call 844-227-9739