When a Car Accident Claim Exceeds Insurance Limits

Rachel N. Woloshin

Author: Rachel N. Woloshin

POST DATE: 11.7.22
Ccha  Personal Injury

It can be challenging to deal with the consequences of a severe car wreck. You may have injuries, damage to your vehicle, and mounting expenses.

You might be wondering, what happens when a car accident claim exceeds insurance limits? If this is the case, there are several options that you can look into to cover those additional costs. If you have further questions about filing your claim, contact our skilled attorneys at Church Church Hittle and Antrim. We are here to help guide you through the entire process and assist you in receiving the compensation you deserve.


CCHA What Happens When a Car Accident Claim Exceeds Insurance Limits blog post

Use Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Keep in mind that Indiana is an “at-fault” State. In other words, the at-fault driver’s insurance policy usually covers your damages.

However, if you were in a car wreck with a driver who did not have adequate, or any, car insurance, you might be able to use uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (also known as UM/UIM coverage) through your own automobile insurance policy. If you already had this at the time of the accident, you may be able to apply this to cover your losses if the at-fault driver does not have insurance or if their insurance isn’t enough to cover your losses.

Unless you specifically reject UM or UIM insurance in writing, all new Indiana auto insurance policies must include these coverages. The minimum liability requirements for these coverages in Indiana are:

  • Uninsured motorist (UM): $25,000 in coverage for bodily injury or death, $50,000 for total bodily injury or death, and $25,000 for property damage per accident; and
  • Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM): $50,000 in bodily injury coverage.

Uninsured motorist coverage applies if the other driver did not renew their insurance, dropped their insurance, or never had insurance altogether. Underinsured motorist coverage can help you cover expenses and damages that go beyond the other driver’s insurance policy limits.

It is important to understand that Indiana law allows your insurance company to reduce your underinsured motorist coverage by the amount the at-fault driver has in liability coverage. For example, if the at-fault driver has $25,000 in liability coverage, and you have $100,000 in underinsured motorist coverage, the maximum amount you can recover from your underinsured motorist carrier is $75,000, because it gets to take credit for the $25,000 already paid by the at-fault driver. This is true even if your damages exceed all available coverage amounts.

If you have sustained injuries in a car accident, our lawyers are here to assist you at any time. Consider reaching out to our accomplished attorneys at CCHA Law today for more information.

Check for Other Defendants

Another option if your claim goes over insurance policy limits is to look to see if there are other defendants. An experienced attorney at CCHA Law can help you determine if additional parties might be held responsible.

For example, since car crashes often involve multiple vehicles, more than one party may share a percentage of the fault. You might be able to then receive compensation from their insurance companies as well.

Here are some other examples of situations where more than one party might be liable:

  • The manufacturer of your car or the car that hit you might share in some liability if an automobile had any defects that contributed to the crash,
  • A city or county inadequately maintained its roads or failed to remove obstacles on public roads, and
  • Employers might be responsible if their employees contributed to an accident while they were on the job.

These are just some examples of circumstances that might result in multiple defendants from whom you can collect compensation. If you are unsure who else might be liable for the accident, get in touch with our personal injury lawyers at CCHA Law. We can help you to investigate further, and we can assist you in recovering the compensation you need.

Check for Umbrella or Excess Policies

It would help if you also looked for umbrella or excess policies that the other driver or defendant might have. A corporate defendant is a party that is most likely to have an umbrella policy. Although, individuals may also carry this type of coverage. If the at-fault party has this policy, it can cover additional expenses that are otherwise uncovered by the underlying insurance policy.

File Suit Against the At-Fault Driver

If all else fails, the final option is to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver and look to recover from personal assets. This may not be the best course of action if a driver lacks assets and cannot pay a judgment. If the defendant has no financial resources, it is unlikely that you will get money out of them—regardless of the outcome of a trial. However, if there are multiple defendants and even one has resources (like a corporate defendant), then a judgment might get you the money you need.

How Our Lawyers Can Help You

If you have sustained bodily injuries and damages from a car accident, do not hesitate to call our attorneys. At Church Church Hittle and Antrim, our personal injury lawyers are approachable and believe in offering practical solutions. We have knowledge in many practice areas, including car accident claims, semi-truck accident claims, wrongful death claims, and catastrophic injury claims. Feel free to call CCHA Law today at 317-773-2190 with any questions or concerns you may have.