Policy Limit Settlements

Policy limits settlements in a personal injury case.

The takeaway from this article is two-fold.  

The first part is about the maximum amount for which an insurance company will settle.  

This is important because even if you have a significant injury, there is only XXX amount of insurance. You might be left in the cold if not handled correctly.

The second part that why would a car insurance company pay the full amount of the policy in a settlement.  


What is the maximum amount an insurance company will pay?


damages in Georgia personal injury cases

What is are Policy Limit Settlements?

This is the maximum amount of insurance available on the policy of the at-fault driver.  

In each state, a different amount can exist, but in Georgia, the minimum amount of car insurance is twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000).  

Therefore, the most you could get without punitive damages would be $25,000.  

That would be a policy limit settlement.  You can have additional insurance policies to recover from. You may need to use your own uninsured motorist coverage if there is not enough insurance.

Because of the accident, our client missed weeks of work.  

She had suffered from daily migraine headaches for several weeks, attended physical therapy, and had to receive several injections into her back to help reduce the pain.  

She had suffered a severe back injury and neck injury before this accident which made matters worse.  She was even sent home with her own transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation unit or TENS unit.  

She was also instructed to wear a back brace for a few weeks.  

She has been prescribed Hydrocodone for the pain for a couple of months.

Liability in this collision was clear because the other driver was charged with following too closely and a DUI less safe charge.  

The police report indicates that the speed of the collision was in excess of 50 miles per hour.

Our client’s vehicle was declared a total loss.

We could dramatically reduce the number of medical bills the client was required to pay.

Why I am not super happy with the result?

This is because of several reasons.  The first is pre-existing injuries.  

Not a problem in my book.  If you told someone that I hurt my knee, they would not really respond dramatically.  

But, if you then said, that is the same knee I had surgery on.  That same person would show more concern because it must be fragile.  

That is easy stuff but an obstacle all the same.

The second was the drunk driver.  

He blew under the limit, but that is not the issue.  

It was just the fact that it existed because of the availability of punitive damages.  There is one downside about trying a case and getting more than the actual damages to the client, and that is time.  

If you are another personal injury lawyer, I will be happy to discuss cases with you or assist you, as well.

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Part Two Why Do Insurance Companies Settle for the Policy Limits?


If they are demanded to pay a settlement in a proper way, the insurance company will be liable for the full amount of the damages – EVEN those greater than the policy limit.


State Farm has a policy limit of $25,000. You have an injury that is valued at $85,000. They can get out for $25,000 because that is their max insurance.


If a proper time demand letter is sent to them and they don’t pay, the result changes.

State Farm will be responsible for paying the full amount at the accident trial.

This is why they will pay the full amount. 

The exposure is greater than just paying out on the claim.

You can call it CYA.

You can call it survival.

We call it a policy limit settlement.

Joseph P. McClelland, LLC represents plaintiffs in trucking accidents, motorcycle wrecks, car accidents, tractor-trailer accidents, and wrongful death cases in Atlanta, Marietta, Duluth, Norcross, Decatur, McDonough, Griffin, Jackson, Monticello, Macon, Forsyth, Barnesville, Midtown Atlanta and all of Georgia.

Joseph McClelland

If you are looking for more information on a hit and run accidents, go here.

For more information on Settlements in Georgia, see our post on settlement tip number two and our first tip on increasing the value of personal injury cases.  Thank you for taking the time to read this article on policy limit settlements in personal injury cases.

Understanding the Basic of Policy Limits

Policy limits are unique limits placed on an insurance plan in regards to the maximum level of compensation. There are many ways to ensure you do not exceed your policy limits. Policy limits are listed at a certain number depending upon the terms and conditions of your policy.

Personal injury policies allow for claims until a certain limit, once the policy limit is reached, the claim amount can not go in excess.

However, it is possible to win a jury verdict even if the value is in excess of the policy limit. When a policy limit has been reached, there are a few steps that can be taken to find out if the policy can for more than its initial value.

When learning about the basics of policy limits, there are a few things to consider. Liability policy limits are for the driver that is at fault of the accident. Car insurance policies will cover a certain amount of personal injury damage.

Therefore, it is important to note that the policy limit is placed on the driver's insurance plan. There are minimum limits as well as maximum limits. 

When a policy limit is set, there are a few ways it can be divided up. If there was more than one person injured, the policy limit is often divided up between the number of injuries individuals. This is a unique aspect of policy limits that is not commonly known. Many people think policy limits are unlimited and the injuries will be covered in full. However this is not the case in many scenarios.

It is possible to receive a verdict on the case for more than the policy allows, however that does not mean the insurance company will willing pay that amount out to the individual affected.

Policy Limits for Personal Injury Accidents

There are many ways to ensure that personal injuries are compensated for. If the personal injuries were assessed at a value higher than what the policy limit allows, the injured individual can choose to sue the driver at fault. There are many ways to go about proceeding with this.

It is possible for the process to be expensive in terms of legal fees.  

For this reason many people do not bring their trials through to court. The legal fees that are produced may end up costing the individual more than if they took the policy limit pay out. 

For this reason may individuals opt to take the policy limit pay out. The policy limit pay out is determined when the policy is purchased. The policy limit has typically been set before the time of the accident. This is important to note as it affects the overall outcome of the situation.

Policy limits can be confusing, however with the right tools and resources, it can be figured out easily.

For this reason, choosing the attorney is important to the overall success of the situation.

See Also:

Settlement or Trial after an Accident

Who is at fault for the accident?

Personal Injury Demand Letter

Jackson Georgia attorney

Brain injury attorney

Adoption attorney

About the author 

Joseph McClelland

Consumer Attorney that fights big businesses on your behalf.
Started his career in international human rights before eventually finding his true calling in consumer protection law. He is a husband and trial lawyer. Most of his work involves credit reporting errors, robocalls, and identity theft. His law practice is in the Atlanta/Decatur area.