Hi...my husband was in a car accident in January, 2011. A woman turned in front of him and he hit her...she was at fault and got tickets. She has the minimum liability limits ($30,000) that NC requires. He is going to have to have surgery on his spine and suffer the rest of his life with his injuries, he has not been able to return to work (he is NC State employee). Is it true that he must settle for $30,000 + his ins under insured limit is $50,000, so he will get $50,000 total? Can he not sue that woman's insurance company?
1 Answer from Attorneys
No, he does not have to settle for the $50,000 ($30k from her insurance, $20k from his underinsured). He can choose not to sign the release/settlement agreement (and still receive the $50,000), and file a lawsuit against the woman seeking damages greater than $50,000. If he is successful in his lawsuit (which it sounds like he will), then he will then have a Judgment that he can seek to enforce against the woman (primarily by ordering the Sheriff to seize her non-exempt assets...as she acquires such assets). This Judgment is good for 10 years, and can be renewed. So if the woman ever receives substantial money or property, your husband can try to enforce his Judgment by ordering the Sheriff to seize her assets.
Feel free to give us a call or send us an email if you have any further questions.
Kreger Thacker LLP