How to Get Money Beyond the Defendant's Policy Limits in Your Car Accident Case?
September 9th, 2020
By Omid Rejali, Esq.
Insurance companies are greedy and have only one objective in mind when it comes time to pay for your injuries-pay as little as possible.
Here's a common scenario I see all the time. A potential client has devastating injuries, but unfortunately the defendant's (person causing the car accident or injury) only has a minimum policy-which in California for car insurance is currently at $15,000.
Here's what we do to maximize your outcome in cases like this. If you are in such a predicament it is best to try and represent yourself in the beginning. Here's a sample of what you can write to the insurance company and send a copy to the defendant driver to give them an opportunity to pay you their policy limits (i.e. $15,000).
I am writing you about the collision that happened between us on (Date). Since then, my life has not been the same.
I am hurt. My doctors have told me that I (describe the nature of your injury) . My (body part) has been hurting since the date of the collision and I have done everything to be able to get better. But it seems like a surgery is inevitable.
I also have not been doing well mentally and emotionally. From the date of the collision I have been in a lot of pain and have been unable to do a lot of the things I used to be able to do before the accident.
I have attached all of my medical records and medical bills all of which were sent to the insurance company here for your review.
The reason why I am writing you is because I am not a litigious person and do not want to have to file a lawsuit against you. However, I have been trying to resolve my claim with your insurance company, specifically (name of adjuster) , which may be reached by phone at ___________ for two years with no luck.
I would have hoped to be better by now, but I am not. I am not a sue-happy person. As a long-time insurance policyholder, I do know that insurance policy limits often limit what a person can recover when negligently injured and damaged by another, unless the injured person decides to pursue the case beyond the limits of available insurance coverage.
I am not, by nature, the type of person who would ask for more than what the policy limits are. And in this case am asking for ($ full amount of policy limits) to cover my medical care and pain and suffering. This number is well within your policy limits of ($amount of policy limit). Because of that, the personal assets and wealth of the person who hurt me aren’t things I want to think about or try to pursue.
I know that you had purchased more than enough insurance coverage to cover all of my injuries. This is why I am writing this letter. I just want all of this to be done and over with.
Therefore, I am willing, right now, without having to file a lawsuit, to settle everything and sign a release, in exchange for payment ($ amount of policy limit).
I will only be willing to do this between now and (expiration date of offer). This is because your insurance company has had since (Date of Collision) to resolve my claim and, I have until (Date you have to file your lawsuit-in California 2 years from the date of collision) to file a lawsuit if need be, which I am hoping to avoid. After (expiration date of offer), I will not limit the compensation I am entitled to under the law to what the insurance policy limits might be.
I am enclosing the medical records that document all of my treatment so far, with every single medical provider. You have the photos of the vehicles available to you, and you know you were at fault for this collision, which caused me to suffer damages.
It has been close to two years, and I am still in bad pain. I have had to see multiple providers and have missed time from work. My doctors have said that I certainly will require surgery for my (body part). I am (age) years old, and that is scary. You have sufficient coverage to pay for everything that I have gone through and will continue to go through. Until (date offer expires), if the final offer is accepted everything can be done and over with, within your policy limits. I will then live with whatever medical treatment lies ahead and whatever residual problems I am left with after I go through rehabilitation, and surgery, to get as well as I possibly can.
Importance of the Letter
What the letter will do is it will set the insurance company up for you to be able to get more money should they choose not to pay the policy limits for your injuries, especially since they had all of the required information to make an informed decision on the value of the claim.
Once they chose not to pay you fair value for your injuries, there is ample case law that would allow you to recover above and beyond their policy limit.
Don't let the insurance companies belittle your injuries. It is not a daily or common occurrence where you get injured, and no one has a right to belittle your injuries and not pay full value for the life that was taken away from your through someone else's bad act.
Thank you for reading my blog. I hope this blog helps you. I will certainly write more about this topic because it is a passion of mine to make sure that the insurance companies treat my clients, their families and their injuries fairly.
If you want to discuss your case further feel free to call my office at 619-887-4148, or send us a text at 619-485-6313, leave us a message here and we will contact you, or send me an email directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Born to get you justice.
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