What to do if liability coverage policy limits do not cover the damages incurred in an accident?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What to do if liability coverage policy limits do not cover the damages incurred in an accident?

I was at fault in an accident. No one was hurt at the time of the accident. Now I

received a letter saying I owe $9431.91 due to liability coverage policy limits. Damages were $24796.62. I had full coverage and do not know why I owe this amount. The accident was not that serious.

Asked on May 20, 2018 under Insurance Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you believe the charges are excessive, you could refuse to pay and force them to sue you. In the lawsuit, in addition to proving your fault (which you acknowledge they can do), they also have to prove that all the claimed damage was the result of the accident *and* that the claimed amount is the actual and reasonable (not overinflated) cost of the damage. They can only recover the amount they can prove you caused, to the extent that cost is reasonable.
Or you could try to negotiate some settlement you are willing to pay: e.g. to settle the case for, say, $5k or $6k. They may accept to avoid the time and expense of suing.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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