A question we tend to hear in our law firm is why, in a courtroom situation, their lawyer cannot name the insurance company in the lawsuit.
The short answer is because the insurance company did not cause the accident. Therefore they cannot be sued. The at-fault driver caused the accident, so he or she is the one being sued. That driver is simply using the insurance company’s money to pay whatever damages must be paid. And the insurance company is in court with their legal representation in an attempt to generally try to pay out as little as possible.
Admittedly, it’s easy to get confused.
Why Can’t You Name the Insurance Company of the At-Fault Driver?
The reason for this is simple: Insurance companies have deeper pockets than the average person, and that could sway a jury to ask for more money. This premise is misleading, however. The insurance company is only going to pay what they have been contracted to pay, which is limited by the policy limits of the at-fault driver.
However, clients may ask this question because they’re worried about the exact opposite. In other words, if they DON’T name the insurance company, the jury might be swayed to ask for LESS money.
The logical question then is, what happens if a jury awards more than the policy limits? If a jury awards more than the other driver’s insurance coverage, it’s called an “excess judgment.” The at-fault driver will have to pay the difference between the policy limits and the excess judgment.
Let’s say, for example, the driver’s policy limits were $60,000 and a jury awarded you $75,000 in damages. The driver would need to cough up that additional $15,000 in order for you to get the full amount. Easier said than done.
Getting an individual to pay can get complicated. That is why it is prudent to get an attorney involved soon after your accident – one who is experienced in investigating and identifying ways the at-fault driver may be able to pay.
Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers in North Carolina
My advice is to work with a legal team like ours with many years of experience in personal injury litigation. We are dedicated to taking every available measure and utilizing every resource that may potentially help secure the best outcome for your case. Better still, we don’t charge an attorney’s fee unless you recover.