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What Happens in a “Policy Limits” Personal Injury Claim?

What Happens in a “Policy Limits” Personal Injury Claim?

As the costs of emergency medical treatment and vehicle repairs continue to rise, understanding how insurance policy limits works is increasingly important. Although the costs of many accidents never get close to policy limits, accidents that result in severe bodily injuries and extensive property damage can lead to settlement proposals that exceed policy limits.

A policy limit is the maximum amount that an insurance company is required to pay out on a claim under a particular policy. Insurance policies typically have separate policy limits for bodily injuries and for property damage. In fact, it is very common to have medical expenses that are near to or exceed the policy limits, but also to have property damages that are well below the policy limits.

Bodily injury liability (BIL) has two portions, as well. The first limit concerns how much an individual injury victim will receive as a result of an accident. The second limit concerns how much in total the insurance company will pay out to all victims for their injuries. California law requires that drivers carry minimum BIL coverage of 15/30, or $15,000 per injured person, and $30,000 maximum for all persons injured in the same accident.

The effect of these policy limits is that if you are the only person injured in a bicycle accident, and you have $50,000 worth of medical bills from your injuries, the minimum amounts of BIL are insufficient to pay your claims, making the at-fault party “underinsured” and personally responsible for any amount over their BIL.

Policy limits work in generally the same way for property damage liability. California law requires that drivers carry a minimum $5,000 in property damage liability insurance. Although the average motor vehicle accident has property damages of less than $5,000, with the steadily increasing price of vehicles, it is not difficult to exceed these policy limits, as well.

As a result, while you have the right to seek the policy limits from a bicycle accident, you cannot sue the insurance company to get more than the policy limits. Unless you have underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage or some sort of umbrella insurance policy that you maintain yourself, you risk not being fully compensated for your losses in a bicycle accident.

Bonnici Law Group has the experience, knowledge, and reputation that you want and need when you are injured in a bike accident. We are here to help you build the most substantial claim possible for compensation and obtain a positive outcome in your case. Do not hesitate to contact Bonnici Law Group at 619-259-5199 or help@bonnicilawgroup.com.

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