Can I sue at fault driver’s insurance company?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I sue at fault driver’s insurance company?

The at fault insurance company accepted the estimate and approved to pay over$ 8,000 to fix my car, they spoke with body shop owner and sent him the approval, the body contacted me to tell me that I was going to receive my car in 2 weeks and they ordered all parts to fix car. Now the insurance company is telling me that they made a mistake and instead of $10,000 the guy’s policy only covers $5,000.

Asked on January 4, 2019 under Accident Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't sue them:
1) The other driver's insurer is NOT your insurer and owes no duty directly to you--their duty is to their driver, not any other person. Since they owe no duty to you, you have no legal grounds to sue them--you can only sue when the other parties violates some legal or contractual duty to you.
2) They only have to pay up to the policy limit: an insurance policy is a contract, and the insurer must only pay what they contracted to pay. So if they limit is only $5,000, that's all they'd have to pay.
What you can do is due the at-fault driver for any amounts not paid by his insurer (so long as you did not sign a settlement agreement to get the money from the insurer stating that you would sue or that the payment you received was payment in full of all claims): the at-fault driver is liable for all damages he/she causes, and if he/she causes more damage than he/she has insurance for, the at-fault driver can be required to pay the balance out of pocket.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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