If you have ever experienced an accident, either car accident or slip and fall, you know how hard it is to deal with the insurance companies, your doctors and your injuries and pain. What if you were not the only one injured in a car accident? If multiple cars and multiple people were injured, there are even more issues a person needs to consider. Hypothetically, if a driver runs a red light, strikes your vehicle and then pushes you into another vehicle and everyone sustains an injury and needs treatment at the scene; only one driver was negligent and caused multiple injuries. This is the multiple person and multiple injury scenario we are talking about and it happens all too often.
When this happens, all injured parties have two options:
1) they can file a personal injury claim jointly; or
2) they can file personal injury claims separately.
The sticking point is that all injured parties may be attempting to draw funds from the same limited insurance policy. Let’s say that the negligent driver who caused the accident has an insurance policy with a bodily injury coverage limit of $50,000.00. That means that there is only $50,000.00 available to cover everyone’s injuries.
If the total cost of all of the injuries clearly exceeds $50,000.00, then the injured parties will likely be forced into a settlement with the insurance company, regardless of the severity of their injuries. But what if the injured parties cannot agree on a settlement? In that case, the insurance company may wind up denying the claim altogether, leaving the accident victims with the option to sue the driver personally.
This situation is undeniably complicated. Now imagine how sticky things can get if there are a dozen injured parties or more, say from a bus accident? That can get much tougher because when it comes to seeking damages after an accident, it is common to only worry about yourself. Generally when it comes to an accident with multiple victims, it is in your best interest to work with the other injured parties involved to maximize the damages recovered. You always want to make sure you get the necessary treatment without shortchanging your recovery. If all of the insurance proceeds go to pay medical bills and you are left with zero in your pocket, that is not fair. Understanding the balance between your medical care and the policy limits becomes an even greater challenge in these situations. That’s why it is always important to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer.
If you find yourself in an accident situation that involved multiple victims, contact Karns & Karns for support and assistance. We promise to seek the best result for you.