In most injury cases, the defendant's insurance limits determine how much the plaintiff can get if they win the case. For example, if you are awarded a million dollars by the court, but the defendant has an insurance limit of $250,000, you will only get $250,000. This is the typical scenario, but there are routes you can take to collect more than the defendants limit. Here are a few examples of such routes:
Check If the Defendant Has an Umbrella Policy
An umbrella policy insurance policy is an extra liability insurance that protects you beyond the limits of your standard insurance. For example, if your car insurance limit is $250,000, you can purchase an umbrella policy that stretches the limit to $500,000, for example.
Therefore, if you are pursuing a case with a defendant with low coverage limits, it pays to investigate (don't expect the defendant to volunteer the information) if the defendant has an umbrella policy. If that is the case, then you can collect the first part of the judgment from the standard policy and then the rest of the money from the umbrella policy.
Go After Other Defendants
This option can only work if there are other parties you can hold responsible for your damages. This is the situation more often than people think; you just need to evaluate your case carefully to identify the right parties.
For example, if the defendant is a minor, you can go after their parents, teacher or any other party who was responsible for the child at the time of the injury. If you were hurt in a car accident, then you can sue the other motorist's mechanic or the company who manufactured the car depending on the cause of the crash. If the defendant was drunk, then you may even be able to sue the person who served them alcohol. In short, look beyond the obvious guilty party to determine others who may be responsible for your injuries by proxy.
Go After the Defendant's Personal Assets
Your last resort is to collect your judgment from the defendant's personal property. Obviously, this only makes sense if the defendant has considerable assets that can pay your award. For example, you can petition the court to compel the defendant to pay your judgment using cash in their bank account or by selling a piece of real estate. It's also a complex that may not be worth pursuing if the amounts involved are small.
All these options aren't easy; there are legal restrictions and exceptions you need to be aware of to succeed. Therefore, you need the expertise of an experienced injury attorney to help you succeed with any of these alternatives. Contact professionals like Eric J. Moore Company, Attorneys At Law to learn more.Share