Stacking Car Insurance PoliciesInsurance Company Maximums and Insurance Stacking

When you are injured in a Virginia car accident, you might be limited in the amount of damages you can recover based on auto insurance policy limits: your policy and the policy of the person at fault in the accident. Insurance policy limits can, unfortunately, mean a cap on the amount of money you can receive after an accident. But there can be additional options to recover more in damages if your injuries are severe.

When a car accident causes major injuries, these policy limits can be inadequate to pay for everything you need in terms of treatment, especially if you are temporarily or even permanently disabled. Because most people carry the minimum amount of insurance required by law, this can leave you in an expensive gap between what the policies will cover versus what your expenses are.

Insurance Stacking Could Help with Accident Recovery

Stacking insurance is a strategy allowable in Virginia that can aid individuals involved in car accidents to achieve fuller financial recovery. It allows them to file claims against every eligible insurance policy, maximizing their potential compensation after an accident. You are entitled under Virginia law to seek compensation if you are injured in a car accident.

For example, let’s say you get into an accident and sustain injuries and costs that total $50,000. If the person at fault for the accident has a policy that limits damages to $15,000, so you turn to your policy to pay for the rest. But they only pay $15,000 as well, leaving a $20,000 gap for your expenses, which you would have to pay out of pocket.

Stacking insurance allows you to file claims in multiple ways so you can expand the total amount of money you are able to recover when your expenses exceed policy limits. It’s not legal in every state but is allowable in Virginia.

How Stacking Insurance Works

You can stack insurance in a few different ways:

  • Additional vehicle policies: If you have more than one vehicle, you may be able to file claims for each policy the insured victim carries.
    • Uninsured motorist (UM): If the person liable for the accident did not have insurance, your damages would then be covered by your uninsured motorist coverage if you carry it. You may be able to stack that policy with other UM coverage on other vehicles into your damages.
    • Underinsured motorist (UIM): If the other party did have insurance but those limits were insufficient for your damages, and you carry underinsured motorist coverage, you may be able to stack all the policies carried by the victim.

Insurance stacking isn’t always applicable or available for every case, but it can make a significant difference in the expenses you can recover. If you or a loved one has been severely injured in a car accident in Virginia, you will want to work with a lawyer who understands how to read insurance contracts and explore opportunities for insurance stacking to recover as much in damages as possible, especially if the victim’s injuries are severe and costs are extremely high.

Recoverable Expenses in a Virginia Car Accident

Damages can be extensive in a car accident, including repair or replacement of your vehicle and all the costs involved in seeking medical care and treatment after the accident—even for years to come. This can include hospital and doctor visits, physical therapy, medical equipment, hospital bills, rehabilitation facilities and services, transportation, and more. Virginia car accident damages also include recovering costs for time missed from work due to the accident and can include costs assessed for pain and suffering for the victim.

Experienced Lawyers Understand Insurance Stacking

An experienced Virginia accident lawyer understands how and when insurance stacking can happen in a case. You need a lawyer who will use every legal means necessary to obtain the compensation and justice you’re entitled to under the law.

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Working with Andrew and his team has been--without exception--one of the most pleasant, productive, and professional experiences of my adult life. I was seriously injured in an accident in July, 2018, in Virginia. I was driving a company vehicle that was registered in Maryland, for a company that was based in Wisconsin. And I live in New Jersey, where my personal vehicles are insured. The several jurisdictions involved presented a very unique case that demanded an experienced and nuanced strategy. I found Andrew Thomas (of Dulaney, Lauer, & Thomas) through some online research. And it is noteworthy that Andrew has worked the other side of the aisle--he used to work with insurance companies. Andrew took on my case with the assurance that he would work it with no less energy than he does each of his cases. At each turn, and with each question I had, Andrew and Paralegal Misty kept me informed, returned my calls, provided detailed explanations, and kept me feeling like I was in the loop and there was an eventual end to our journey. Nearly five years after the accident, we settled out of court for a significant sum in recognition of my personal injuries. The settlement was much more than I had expected. And without Andrew & Misty, I am sure the award would have been much less. If you are looking for professionalism, knowledge, dedication, answerability, responsiveness, integrity, and human-level communication from a personal injury attorney--look no further. You have found him. Thank you, Andrew and Misty. Gary Daley
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