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Why do we have to pay?
(Tx, United States)
My husband was in a car accident in August of 2008. He was hit from behind approximately 50ft. from a stop sign while the other driver was going approximately 40 miles per hour. He hired a lawyer to help him with the case.
After seeing many doctors and racking up about $40,000 worth of medical bills and finding out he needs at least three surgeries, the lawyer came up with a monetary value to try to settle with the insurance company on.
After waiting about two weeks we heard back that he settled for $25,000 dollars with the "offenders" insurance company. That does not even come close to covering the medical debt.
The lawyer is now saying that he is going to go after our insurance company for the 50,000 that our policy holds. That I am sure will raise the premiums on our policy.
Why do we have to pay for something that is not his fault? I know that people get more than that from insurance companies and I am afraid that we are getting worked over by the lawyer.
Please help me and tell us what we need to do.
Well, let me start by telling you that the minimum amount of automobile liability insurance Texas drivers are required to carry for bodily injury/property damage increased on April 1 from the prior $20,000/$40,000/$15,000 (“20/40/15”) coverage to “25/50/25” coverage.
What I am trying to say here is that the other driver probably had a little more than the “minimum” liability coverage required by law (5K over). What your lawyer is doing is what just about any good attorney would attempt to do. Get the maximum limit against the at-fault insurance company and then go after the underinsured liability coverage of your own policy.
Can your lawyer go after the person who hit you directly (his/her assets). They can, but it is a much more complicated matter. It can eat all your settlement on attorney’s fees. Most lawyers rather collect against the liability insurance and the go after your own carrier.
You asked: Why do we have to pay for something that is not his fault?
It’s not your lawyer’s fault. Insurance is the only product in the world where you buy the product, and then you are penalize when you use it. The insurance company argues that if you are in a car accident, it’s evidence that you are more prone to be in an accident again, thereby making you a “risker” driver – meaning that they can jack up your insurance rates. I agree, it’s not fair, but it is how insurance companies work.
Your lawyer does, however, have a duty to explain the entire process to you so it makes sense. To learn how bodily injury claims are settled, please see:
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