What to do if I was in an auto accident and the responsible party only carries the minimum bodily injury coverage of $25,000?

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What to do if I was in an auto accident and the responsible party only carries the minimum bodily injury coverage of $25,000?

My injuries and medical bills are extensive, not to mention the pain and suffering with several factures. If I take the minimal payment from the at fault party’s insurance company, will that negate me from being able to pursue a civil case against the at fault party?

Asked on January 14, 2014 under Personal Injury, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Taking an insurance payment does not automatically bar you from suing the at-fault party. The critical issue is what do any settlement agreements, stipulations, etc. which you sign say? If the paperwork says that you are giving up your right to pursue the at-fault party, then you can't sue--an agreement like that is enforceable. If the paperwork does not bar you from suing, you may sue. So review any/all paperwork carefully.

Before suing the at-fault party, however, it's a good idea to consider whether a lawsuit will get you anything. Typically, if someone has the minimum coverage, that's because he/she can't afford to pay for more, and/or has nothing worth protecting from a lawsuit; the at-fault driver may be effectively judgment proof.


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