How do I get the insurance coverage in $$ on the young girl who hit me head-on going in the wrong direction on a major highway? 33 Answers as of May 14, 2013

Her insurance is with American family coverage. She is covered under her father's insurance policy. I already have incurred about $50,00.00 in medical bills including my first surgery of possibly 4 additional surgeries. Accident occurred the evening of 1-11-13. I have 100k/300k/100k. My medical bills will be well over 100k. How much is my case worth? What if she doesn't have much insurance coverage?

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Gregory M Janks, PC
Gregory M Janks, PC | Gregory M Janks
As I've indicated in many, many posts, there is no formula for determining the value of any particular case. Each case is fact dependent and should be reviewed by local Michigan counsel who regularly handle auto crash cases. The only way to compel a defendant/insurer to disclose their policy limits is to file suit and ask Interrogatories in regard to any such policy(ies). On the other hand, you may ask pre-suit and the defendant and/or their insurer may disclose the limits - but they are not required to. You always need to get a certified copy of the declaration sheet as to the policy(ies) and also find out if there is other coverage available for the claim. You also need to check your own policy for UnderInsured Motorist Coverage if the limits of the defendants are insufficient to cover your injuries/damages. There are very specific requirement related to UIM claims that must be known/followed to perfect such a claim. Again, it is wise to consult knowledgeable Michigan counsel in this regard as well.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/14/2013
Gary L. Platt, Attorney at Law | Gary Platt
Many questions, here. First, if this driver's father had coverage for her and the vehicle she was driving, you will need to make contact with her insurance company as soon as possible and make a claim. If, as you say, she was driving on the wrong side of the highway, there won't be a liability question. BE WARNED: DO NOT try to settle your claim, no matter what the other driver's insurer tells you, until you are 100% certain you have either completely finished receiving all medical treatment you will ever need OR you have at a minimum obtained one or more professional medical opinions on whatever future treatment you may need and your long-term prognosis. Also, DO NOT try to settle this by yourself. While you may believe you are saving a large chunk of money by not hiring a lawyer, you have NO CHANCE of getting a fair settlement from an insurance company if they know you are unrepresented and have no idea what constitutes a "fair" amount for all of your damages. You have only one shot at this, and if you understate your damages and settle, you CANNOT re-open your case later. Hire a lawyer (do some shopping and it's better if you interview at least 2 different lawyers [from different firms] before you hire one), let him/her completely handle the matter, and after a complete investigation, and after obtaining all necessary professional opinions, your lawyer will tell you approximately what you should accept to settle your case. DO NOT HURRY...you have 2 years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit (which you must do if the case does not settle by then), but you do NOT have to settle.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/14/2013
David F. Stoddard
David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
Your case is probably worth what the insurance coverage is. You need to see if you have underinsured coverage, which would add 100K to hers. If she does not have much insurance, you probably will not recover all that it is worth.
Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Replied: 5/14/2013
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
Your questions should be addressed to your attorney. No reasonably sane attorney is going to volunteer a guess as to values with out seeing the reports and medical information.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/11/2013
Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
It is much too early to form an opinion as to what your case is worth since you have not finished medical treatment. It may be worth $2-300,000 and could be worth more if you have any residual disability. The other driver and her insurance company do not have to reveal the amount of insurance coverage, but they probably will if it is a low amount. Write them as to what your current medical bills are and the estimated future bills and that you would ask that they get their insured's approval to reveal the coverage so you know whether to settle now. If there is not much insurance coverage, most drivers have only $15,000, you will need to find out if they have assets [house, other property, cars, etc.] and may have to file an under-insured motorist claim with your own carrier.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/10/2013
    John Russo | John Russo
    Should have retained counsel they receive nothing unless you do you are not a lawyer and should not try to be, how much is it worth? A whole lot less without a lawyer then with a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 5/10/2013
    Friesen & Associates | Henry P. Friesen, Esq.
    Given the severity of your injury, you will likely have to file a civil lawsuit. Also, do you have uninsured/underinsured coverage?
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/10/2013
    Gregory S. Shurman, LLC
    Gregory S. Shurman, LLC | Gregory S Shurman
    Your case will likely be worth more than her policy provides. You'll need to uncover all available policies that apply to your case.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/10/2013
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    The young girl has only as much insurance as her father purchased. If you have UM coverage, it should pick up the difference up to the limits of coverage. If you have more than one vehicle you can stack to get even more coverage. With injuries like yours, though, you really need to talk to an accident lawyer. There are other issues you haven't mentioned here such as subrogation and lost wages and so forth that really make your legal situation complicated. You could try to handle it on your own, but I wouldn't if I were you. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/10/2013
    W Morris Taylor, PC | W Morris Taylor
    You need to hire personal injury atty who knows insurance policies & has a reputation for dealing with ins co s. Your ins coverage may well come into play.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 5/10/2013
    Lydy & Moan | C. Gary Wilson
    You may have serious problems. This is why it is good to have a million dollar umbrella coverage. Usually costs only a couple of hundred dollars per year, but it gives you piece of mind for this type of situation.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 5/10/2013
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    You not sure what your bills are? 50, 500, 5000, 500000? If she does not have sufficient coverage and she likely will not, your underinsured coverage kicks in (if you have it. see your agent if you are not sure what your coverage is) if your case is worth more than the coverage you are probably out of luck. You could sue her without taking a settlement and if you got a judgment in excess of the bills, you could try to collect from her. But do you know what she owns? Anything? you better have a lawyer or investigator find out if she owns anything before you do that.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 5/10/2013
    Kevin H Pate
    Kevin H Pate | Kevin H Pate
    Unless the adjuster willingly reveals (unlikely), you find out the coverage limits by filing a suit. However, it is not uncommon to explore settlement and file a settlement demand in advance of filing a suit. To the extent coverage exists, your own medical payments coverage and UM coverage can also come into play, with your carrier having subrogation rights against her carrier for their payouts. You should prepare yourself for the possibility the at fault driver through her father may have no coverage, only minimal required coverage, or slightly above the minimally required coverage. Their may be more, but overall it is more common to see lower coverage limits unless the family has significant assets to protect.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 5/10/2013
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    Get a lawyer. No one will take you seriously unless you do. Your case is worth what you can prove to a jury.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/10/2013
    WEISSMAN LAW FIRM
    WEISSMAN LAW FIRM | I.Donald Weissman
    If the father's insurance carrier has not already tried to contact you, to begin the process a claim has to be made to the insurance carrier. A letter will do it. The value of your claim cannot be stated until you are done with your treatments and recovery. Whatever residual or lasting injuries or disabilities you have from this accident, if any, have a serious impact on the value of the case. With the projection of medical expenses you describe, unless the responsible party's insurance policy limit is extremely high, your medical bills will probably exhaust that policy. If that policy is less than the policy limit you have on your own insurance policy under the Uninsured Motorist provision, you may be able to make a claim under that policy for additional compensation. A good injury lawyer can help you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/10/2013
    TAMBASCO & ASSOCIATES, P.C. Attorneys at Law | R. Tambasco
    The insurance company covering the driver will need to be contacted. In most cases insurance companies will offer little more than the medical expenses incurred when contacted by the injured party. At times less. You have two years from the date of injury to bring an action. This is so you will be able make an assessment of your damages. These might include in addition to the actual injuries, therapy as well as other treatments, procedures, lost wages, pain and suffering. If your insurance picks up any of your costs they will seek reimbursement. Yet, this too can ne negotiated to maximize your settlement. The worth of your case will depend on the above factors along with any impairment which may have resulted impacting your quality of life. Such a case should not be dealt with by the actual injured party. It Is best to seek out experienced counsel to assist with this given the legal defenses that the drivers insurance company is likely to raise.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 5/10/2013
    Rags Beals Seigler Patterson & Gray
    Rags Beals Seigler Patterson & Gray | Ronald D. Reemsnyder
    Dealing with insurers without the assistance of an attorney is a difficult task as the insurer will pay as little as possible if you don't properly evaluate your claim and be able to prove it. To properly evaluate your claim and to receive an appropriate payment you need both a medical analysis and a lost income analysis. The medical analysis would concern your injuries, the extent of your permanent impairment and the alteration of your ability to enjoy life and perform work. The economic analysis calculates current lost income and any future lost income reduced to present cash value. You may also have under-insured motorist benefits through your own insurance; this would help you if it turns out she doesn't have coverage or enough coverage. An investigation needs to be done regarding the insurance available to the striking driver and whether her activities might create coverage under policies issued to a third party such as an employer. In short, with your injuries and damages, an attorney would be of great benefit to you in maximizing your recovery.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/10/2013
    Law Offices of Stanley S. Lopata
    Law Offices of Stanley S. Lopata | Stan Lopata
    It is impossible to estimate the full value of your claim. However, whatever limits exist on the girl's policy will show how much you can recover from her. You should have uninsured/underinsured motorist overage. Your insurance agent should have advised you to have UM coverage at least equal to your liability coverage and that might show how much you can recover. You should discuss this with a personal injury attorney ASAP.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/10/2013
    Johnson & Johnson Law Firm, PLLC | Richard Johnson
    Well, the case is worth more than the 100K of per person liability coverage the other driver has available. You / your lawyer need to get your bills and records to the liability insurer and demand it pay the 100K. Then, you also need to get with your own car insurer as you are going to have an Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM) claim for this MVA under your own policy. Hopefully, you had Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and UIM on your car / the car you were in at the time of the MVA.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/10/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    You need to retain an attorney to assist you, especially if your bills exceed the policy limit.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/10/2013
    Kram & Wooster, P.S. | Richard H. Wooster
    You need to immediately retain an experienced personal injury attorney. You appear to have a serious case that will in all likelihood involve both the adverse driver's family policy and your under-insured motorist coverage. I would be happy to meet with you. Without knowing just what your injuries were, the facts of the accident beyond what you already disclosed, the nature of your work and the prognosis for you in the future, it is not possible to properly value your claim. Find a qualified personal injury attorney immediately.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/10/2013
    Lawrence Kahn Law Group, P.S.
    Lawrence Kahn Law Group, P.S. | Lawrence Kahn
    You need to get a lawyer to look into this for you immediately. Do you have Under-insured Motorist coverage from your policy? If so, in addition to her insurance, you may get compensated from your own insurance company given the severity of your injury.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/10/2013
    Lewis B. Kaplan | Lewis B. Kaplan
    In Illinois where I practice there is a statute which enable you to find out liability coverage limits of the American Family policy before filing suit . It may be crucial to know what your own Uninsured/Underinsured coverage limits are in case the American Family limits are low . Also depending on the state where the collision happened you may be able to "stack" coverage so that if for example American Family had $ 25,000 coverage limits and you had $ 100,000 underinsured coverage limits you would have $ 125,000 total coverage available . This would not be so in Illinois where you would have American Family's $ 25,000 plus $ 75,000 of your underinsured motorist coverage available. Also there needs to be inquiry as to whether there is an "umbrella" liability policy over and above the American Family basic coverage .
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/10/2013
    WARM SPRINGS LAW GROUP | Elliott D. Yug
    You will need to get an attorney. You will sue the driver and the owner of the vehicle. Before settling with the insurance company talk with your company as you may have under insured or uninsured coverage.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 5/10/2013
    David P. Slater, esq.
    David P. Slater, esq. | David P. Slater
    Potentially , a great deal. These are questions to ask your experienced attorney. If you do not have one, you should.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/10/2013
    Langer & Langer
    Langer & Langer | Jon Schmoll
    Her father's insurance should cover her. You would need to know the per person limits for her father's bodily injury coverage. For example if his coverage is 100/300, that means he has $100,000.00 bodily injury coverage. You also need to know your under-insured motorist bodily injury limits because your own insurance will make up any difference between the father's bodily injury limits and your under-insured bodily injury limits. For example if the father has only 50,000 and you have 100,000, you would be able to get 50,000 from the fathers insurance and 50,000 from your under-insured coverage.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 5/10/2013
    Hone Law Firm
    Hone Law Firm | John S. Hone
    The most important fact in your case is the amount of insurance coverage that the negligent driver and owner have. Your medical bills should be covered by your own No Fault Carrier, as well as attendant care, replacement services, and wage loss. If you have insurance you have a legal claim. If you do not, you cannot bring a claim in Michigan. Your recovery will be a factor of the insurance coverage available, unless you thought ahead to get underinsured coverage. Best of luck.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/10/2013
    Matthew D Kaplan LLC
    Matthew D Kaplan LLC | Matthew D Kaplan
    I am very sorry to read about this crash. Assuming that the insurance policies involved are Oregon Policies you are probably maxed out at the amount of the polices unless the at fault driver's family has lots of assets.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/10/2013
    James Morris Law
    James Morris Law | James Morris Law
    I'm sorry to hear about your accident and difficulties with the insurance company. My firm has a considerable amount of experience in handling personal injury cases and dealing with difficult insurance companies. Valuing a case is exceptionally difficult without having more information on your medical status and the facts surrounding the accident. You should contact an attorney and obtain representation immediately so that your rights are protected and you can ensure the highest dollar value for your case.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/10/2013
    End, Hierseman & Crain, LLC | J. Michael End
    If there is not enough liability insurance coverage for the other driver, you have your own under insured motorist coverage to cover you. You also have your medical payments coverage, although that is usually a smaller amount. It is impossible to know what the value of your claim is without knowing what your injuries are, whether they are painful, whether they are incapacitating, whether they will be permanent, how they affect your activities of daily living, whether they caused you to miss work, etc. With you bills being high, it is likely that your claim will have significant value. I think you should hire a lawyer to help you deal with the insurance issues and the evaluation of your claim. The statute of limitations for auto accident cases is three years from the date of the accident. That is the deadline by which you will have to file a case if you are unable to settle your claim.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 5/10/2013
    Montgomery Law Offices
    Montgomery Law Offices | Gary Montgomery
    You have quite a few different questions. If the other driver is totally at fault, then you should be able to recover from her up to the insurance limits of her father's insurance. If there's not enough insurance to cover all of your damages from her father's policy, you may be able to go after your own insurance carrier for under insured coverage (if you have it). Your case could be worth substantial (meaning several hundred thousand dollars) but a lot will depend on the opinions of your doctors as to your injuries, whether you have any permanent disabilities and the prognosis for recovery. Hope that helps some.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 5/10/2013
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    You can request it under 627.4137, Florida Statutes. They are required to give you an answer within 30 days. You also might want to check with your own car insurance coverage to see if you have UM/UIM coverage.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/10/2013
    Koning & Jilek, P.C.
    Koning & Jilek, P.C. | Jonathan Neal Jilek
    You are likely entitled to no fault benefits and money damages from the at fault driver.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/10/2013
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