What if There’s Not Enough Insurance to Pay for Personal Injury Damages in New Hampshire?
It is not uncommon for personal injury victims to wonder, “What happens when the insurance is not sufficient to cover my damages and losses?” This often happens when a victim has suffered a serious injury in a vehicle crash or any other type of accident.
If you can prove that another person or entity was responsible for causing your injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, diminished earning capacity, pain and suffering, and many other harms you suffered.
What Are the Minimum Insurance Requirements in New Hampshire?
Drivers in New Hampshire who purchase car insurance must have the following types of coverage provided as part of their auto insurance policy:
- Medical Payment Coverage ($1,000), which provides coverage for medical expenses related to car accidents regardless of fault;
- Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage (in an amount equal to the liability coverage purchased), which provides coverage if the at-fault motorist fled the scene of the crash and cannot be identified and located (a hit-and-run crash), the at-fault driver is not insured, or the at-fault motorist does not have enough insurance to cover your damages and losses.
As you can see, seeking coverage through the underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) may be the most appropriate option when there is not enough insurance to pay for your damages and losses. Having good uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can provide you with protection if you are harmed by someone with insufficient coverage.
It is important to note that, if the at-fault driver was underinsured, you need the permission of the UIM carrier to accept any settlement with the at-fault drive or the at-fault driver’s insurance company or your claim for UIM benefits will likely be barred!
When Both Insurances Are Not Enough
If you exhausted insurance coverage, you might be able to seek additional compensation through the underinsured motorist coverage. However, if your injury is serious or catastrophic, even that may not be enough insurance to cover you damages. Instead of settling your claim, you could elect to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault motorist. It is important to know that once you have settled your claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance, you will no longer be able to pursue this option, so this should be considered prior to accepting any settlement from any insurance company!
However, suing the negligent driver may not be a viable option if the motorist does not have enough assets to cover your damages and losses. An experienced attorney can help you weigh your options and help maximize your recovery. For example, lien may be reduced, medical payment coverage collected to help pay outstanding bills, etc. to help increase the amount of the injured person’s recovery.
Regardless of whether you are filing a claim or lawsuit against choose the at-fault driver, or seeking compensation through your own insurance company, it is advised that you consult with an experienced Manchester car accident attorney. Contact our lawyers at the Law Office of Manning Zimmerman & Oliveira PLLC for a consultation. Call at 603-624-7200.