Can I sue an insurance company?
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Can I sue an insurance company?
About 4 months ago, I was in a 3 car accident. I had just pulled up to a stop waiting for traffic to clear, a car was turning into where I was about to pull out at, and a speeding truck hit him from behind and pushed him right into me. I was off work until last month due to a concussion. The driver of the truck only had liability coverage for $50,000. Is that supposed be split among everyone involved or does each person involved get that amount?
Asked on April 30, 2018 under Accident Law, Arkansas
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 5 years ago | Contributor
1) You can only sue your own insurer, for breach of contract, if they fail to pay you when under the terms of your policy (which is a contract) indicates they should. You do not sue other peoples' insurers; you sue the at-fault drivers themselves, and if they have insurance (and you win the lawsuit), their insurance will pay--up to the insurance limit.
2) While there are different ways to purchase and express insurance coverage, so we cannot give a definitive answer without looking at what the policy says, a $50,000 coverage limit generally mean $50,000 total for a single accident or incident. That means that the $50,000 would be split between all persons injured in the accident. That doesn't necessarily mean an even split: it means that there is up to $50k available. If the driver of the first car hit had injuries and medical bills equivalent to (e.g. which he settles for) $10,000, that would leave up to $40,000 available for you.
3) You can sue for more than the insurance coverage: it's just that any amounts over the policy limit will have to be paid by the truck driver (and/or the truck's owner, if he is a different person or entity, such as an LLC or corporation, than the driver; both an at-fault driver and the owner of the at-fault vehicle may be sued) personally. Unfortunately, if the person(s) you sue lack the money to pay, even if you win the case, you may not receive anything beyond the insurance money: winning a lawsuit does not make money appear where there is none.
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