Can I sue at fault driver’s insurance company?

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 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.


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