Massachusetts Auto Accident Claims and Excess Jury Verdicts

If you have caused a Massachusetts car accident, your auto insurance company will be responsible for any liability for the accident you may have.  But, what if the case does not settle?  Are you going to be raked over the coals at trial and be personally responsible for paying a verdict in excess of your policy limits?  Here is a post on this topic provided by California personal injury Attorney Jonathan Stein over at his California Personal Injury and Insurance Blog:

Q: I was in an accident. I have a 25/50 policy ($25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident.) I am being sued for personal injury for more than that amount. Now what?

A: It depends. If the insurance company had a chance to settle the case within your policy limits and chose not to, then they will be on the hook for the total judgment. (There is a great case that says that the insurance company cannot gamble with their insured’s potential judgment.)

However, if there was never a chance to settle (such as where the other person’s injuries are worth $250,000 instead of $25,000) then you could potentially be liable for the excess judgment. If this is the case, you need to have a long talk with the insurance company and their attorney and possibly even a private attorney that you pay for. You need to discuss the risks of an excess judgment and how this will affect you and your assets.

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