In California, is there a maximum amount an auto insuance company is allowed to pay out on pain and suffering? 4 Answers as of January 30, 2013

I was a passenger in a car that was hit from behind on a freeway in Alameda County California. I am currently in negotiations to settle the claim but the insurance company tells me (or implies) that there is a maximum payout amount for pain and suffering in the state of California. Is this true?

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Law Offices of Mark West
Law Offices of Mark West | Mark West
While there is no set limit on pain and suffering damages, there could be a limit to the amount of insurance covering the individual who hit you. If you can prove the pain and suffering is worth more than the insurance limits on the person who hit you, you should make a demand for the policy limits. If the insurance company refuses to pay it, you may have a bigger claim after if you prove your case is actually worth more than the policy limits. You should seek the advice of an attorney to make sure your demand is clear. Obviously you should demand to know the limits of the insurance covering the person who hit you. The insurance company may refuse to give it to you. In that case, you can either sue (and they will have to give it to you) or there are internet services which will find insurance covering the person).
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/30/2013
Law Office of Christian Menard
Law Office of Christian Menard | Christian Menard
An insurance company its required to pay out only the amount of its insured's limits of its policy e.g., $30,000, $50,000, $100,000. That amount does not limit your claim however. If your claim for pain and suffering exceeds the policy limits of the responsible party's coverage, you can either accept the policy limits and go after the difference under your underinsurance coverage of your policy. However, your carrier gets an offset from what you received from the other insurance company. Example, you got $30K from the responsible party's carrier and your coverage limits are $60K , your carrier gets credit for the $30K already paid you so your carrier would only have to pay you $30K. If your coverage limit is $30K, your carrier does not have to pay you anything. Or, if the responsible party has substantial assets, you can still go after him for the full value of your claim. The carrier will not give you the insurance limits, however, as they will only pay if the settlement results in a dismissal of your case. This scenario requires some negotiation as you can get the carrier to pay its limits and get the responsible party to kick extra money into the pot from his own pockets.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/29/2013
Frank Law Group, P.C.
Frank Law Group, P.C. | Brett E. Rosenthal
Not in a regular personal injury case arising out of motor vehicle accident. The only cap in California involves medical malpractice claims. Therefore, the only cap that may apply is that pertaining to the policy limits. The adverse carrier may be offering the policy limits and as result they would not have an obligation to pay anymore than their insured's policy limits. However, there is no cap on pain and suffering in a civil case in California.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/29/2013
WEISSMAN LAW FIRM | I.Donald Weissman
There is no "maximum" amount, or cap, in California for damages from a car accident injury claim. The only limitation an insurance carrier may be subject to is the policy limit of the insurance policy of the responsible party for the accident. The carrier is not required to pay more than that limit.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/29/2013
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