What to do if I rear-ended somebody on the freeway but my insurer informed me the settlement with the other party may exceed my coverage limit?

What happens if my insurance company cannot reach a settlement within my coverage limit? I am a student and the only money I have right now is from student loans and the GI Bill. Is it possible for them to go after that money? I also have my name on my dads bank account because I manage his money. Is it possible for them to go after that money even though none of it is mine?

Asked on February 13, 2013 under Accident Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

1) Your coverage limit does not limit what you can be sued for; if you caused injuries or property damage exceeding your coverage limit, the other party may sue you for more than you coverage. In that case, if they win, your insurer would pay up to the limit, and you would be responsible for any amounts over that. Any money that goes into your bank account, regardless of the source or the purpose for the money (e.g. to pay for school) is fair game.

2) If you name is on an account, the assumption is that at least some of the money is yours. The other party may well try to go after it, and you would then have the burden of proving that it is not your money-which may be difficult if you have control over the account (control creates a presumption that the money is yours).

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