WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE VICTIM’S DAMAGES EXCEED A DRIVER’S INSURANCE COVERAGE?

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE VICTIM’S DAMAGES EXCEED A DRIVER’S INSURANCE COVERAGE?

Posted on Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 at 12:43 am    

Traffic is something that every motorist in Sacramento County must contend with during their daily commutes. At times, traffic can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, auto accidents are bound to happen with that many people on the road at one time. Sadly, many of the crashes that occur are preventable. A driver who is distracted, speeding, driving recklessly, intoxicated, or drowsy can make mistakes that lead to collisions and significant damages.

If a driver causes an accident, that driver can be held liable for damages and losses that victims sustain because of the crash. Filing an insurance claim with the driver’s insurance provider is the first step in recovering compensation for your claim. If the driver’s insurance provider accepts liability for the claim, you can receive compensation for a variety of damages.

Examples of damages that may be related to a car accident include:

  • Medical bills
  • Property damage
  • Loss of income
  • Travel expenses to doctor’s appointments
  • Personal care
  • Assistance with household services (i.e. lawn maintenance, washing clothing, cleaning, etc.)
  • Medications and medical equipment
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Permanent impairment and disability
  • Physical, emotional, and mental pain and suffering


The value of your accident claim includes out-of-pocket financial losses and expenses as well as noneconomic damages or pain & suffering damages. It can be difficult to calculate the value of an accident claim, especially claims that involve traumatic injuries and permanent impairments. In addition to the damages to date, you may also be entitled to future damages for ongoing medical treatment and loss of income.

What Happens When the Value of My Claim Exceeds the Driver’s Liability Coverage?

The insurance company for the other driver is only liable for damages up to the policy limits of the driver’s liability insurance policy. However, that does not mean that the driver is not personally liable for the damages. You could file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver seeking a personal judgment. If you obtain a personal judgment, you can try to collect on the judgment, but if the person does not have assets that can be levied to pay the judgment, you have a worthless piece of paper.

There may be another option. If you have underinsured motorist coverage, you may receive compensation for your car accident claim from your insurance provider.

What is Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Underinsured motorist coverage protects you if another driver causes an accident and does not have enough insurance or funds to pay your claim in full. Once you settle your claim with the insurance company for the other driver, you can file a claim against your underinsured motorist coverage for any damages that were not paid by the other company. Depending on the policy limits of your underinsured motorist coverage, you could receive full compensation for all damages.

Contact a Sacramento Auto Accident Attorney for Help

There could be other sources of compensation for your accident claim. Our legal team thoroughly investigates every aspect of your accident to identify all parties who might have some liability. We also research all potential sources of compensation to maximize the chance that you receive the highest amount possible for your personal injury claim.

If you need help with an accident claim or you have questions, schedule a free consultation with a Sacramento auto accident attorney by calling The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000.

Client Testimonials

Elena Basquez
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The Tiemann law Firm has been very good to me ever since I walked in the door. James and Emily have been very responsive and professional and make me feel comfortable when I start to freak out a bit. Accidents can be pretty stressful and I feel like they’ve gone above and beyond. I’m happy that keep me up-to-date on how my case is going. I appreciate that they make me feel like a priority and that they take my case serious. I have already recommend them to a few friends and family members. God forbid I get into another accident, but if I do, I know exactly where to come for help.

Elizabeth Ochoa
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I chose Tiemann Law Firm to help me after a car accident I was involved in. Throughout the entire process, Moe made sure to keep me updated, he always responded quickly whenever  I had questions about anything. My case won thanks to this law firm and their dedication. My experience with Tiemann Law Firm was amazing! 10/10 recommended.

Beca Lopez
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Such wonderful experience with Tiemann Law firm. The employees are great, respectful, and kept in contact with me throughout the entire process. I would definitely recommend this firm. Thank you so much for your services!

Tajii Black
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Don’t listen to the bad reviews! My experience with this law firm is unmatched , I always recommend to colleagues and friends and they have not been disappointed either. Great quality people who care about the outcome not just the bottom line

Dawniel Ewing
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I have nothing but great things to say about this firm. They have been extremely helpful and professional when dealing with my case. Anytime I needed anything or wanted updated they responded immediately. They made me feel like they cared. Highly recommend them!

Amy J
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Tiemann Law Firm is a great law firm. The best part is we won and I received a bigger settlement than I thought was possible! They keep in touch and are friendly and easy to talk to. If you want the best settlement for your case,   CALL THESE GUYS!!!

Michael T.
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I sat down and met with Jelena Tiemann about my vehicle accident.I presented all of my documentation to her in which she gave me her assessment.Although the Tiemann Law Firm wont be representing me because my settlement offer was pretty good she was very clear,forward and professional about what she felt could and couldn't be done.I recommend this law firm to anyone who needs a helping hand at fighting a case where you don't have to worry about the outcome not going in your favor. Please don't review this business if you received a freebie for writing this review, or if you're connected in any way to the owner or employees.

Herb T.
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The Tiemanns were referred to me by a friend and I am exceptionally happy with the service I received. I had never been in an accident before. I had no idea what to do. Jelena verbally explained how everything would work to me, and she and Peter handled everything. I didn't have to lift a finger once. They went above and beyond for me and I am extremely grateful. I pray I won't ever need this type of assistance again, but I will definitely be referring them to friends and family.

Jennifer T.
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I highly recommend The Tiemannn Law Firm! I had never before been in a situation where I sustained injury and had to seek legal representation. I was nervous, traumatized, and had no idea what to expect. Jelena, Peter, and their staff walked me through each step of the process. They explained everything in detail. They patiently answered all my questions, responded quickly to every email, text message, phone call, etc. I felt totally prepared for each new phase of the legal process. Furthermore, they were fearless in their defense of me. In certain situations, when I felt attacked or scared my attorney protected me like I was family. Their diligence, honesty, integrity, and compassion provided a true sense of healing and closure for my family and I. The Tiemann Law Firm accomplished more for me than I ever thought possible and I am forever grateful.

Hanna Padilla
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From the very start of my case the Tiemann Law Firm was wonderful. Perter came all the way to my home to sit down and talk to me about my options. He made me and my partner feel very comfortable and promised us he would take the very best care of my case. Peter kept me informed every step of the way and was always on top of things. everything was done in a timely manor and I always felt like I was the only case he was working on because he was so fast. In the end Peter got me back way more money than I ever expected. I would recommend this law firm to everyone. I am very happy with the outcome of my case thanks to the Tiemann Law Firm! Thank you!

S.B.
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Here's the thing... Nobody really thinks much about lawyers until they need one.  Well, we needed one!  The Tieman Law Firm came through for us in a big way. They were professional, courteous, thorough, and had an excellent staff as well.  Highly recommended...

Star Fire
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It is hard to put into words the care and dedication that I received from the Tiemann’s. They have been here for me every step of the way and were always available when I had questions or concerns. My husband and I will be forever grateful for everything they have done for us and our family. Thank you so much for all of your hard work and time you have put into my case, we greatly appreciate it and your friendship. We highly recommend this firm and will always be thankful for everything they have done. Thank you so much again, Kim

Jereme S.
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No-one wants to have to hire a lawyer, but if you do. I prefer Tiemann Law. They helped a family member who was injured on the job, and the company did not want to compensate him even though, the injury occurred on the job on company time. Jelena was always professional in explaining the lengthy process of fighting a large corporation. 2 years later he finally is receiving the deserved compensation.

Maye Ly
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I just saw my lawyer Jelena Tiemann on a t.v ad, which reminded me how much she helped when I was in a desperate situation. I just love her! That is why I feel a need to tell everyone. I had a situation that happened & didn’t know what to do, our where to go. I didn’t even know if she could help me or if any lawyer could. All I wanted was it to go away & was afraid most lawyers wanted to drag it out & possibly go to court. For one she was very professional but was very personable (maybe b.c she’s a lady). She didn’t make me feel embarrassed or self-conscious that I did something wrong or was the cause of the situation. She immediately said we should try our best before going to court. Let me handle some paperwork, if at the last we do go to court we have documents. She gave me all the details, pros and cons but reassured me she deals with these cases all the time. She came through and made it as painless as possible. I now have my life back.

Matt H.
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I was in a car accident a while back where I was injured and had to miss work for an extended period of time.  After nearly a year of fighting with the insurance company with no results and no progress, I met with Jelena Tiemann.  I couldn't have asked for a more responsive and supportive advocate.  We quickly reached a settlement and I finally was able to move from the stress and burden of feuding with my insurance.  I highly recommending meeting with Jelena if you're in need of a lawyer.

Jennifer Birdseye
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Tiemann Law Firm helped us with an injury case for my nephew. They were very knowledgeable and we are very happy with the service they provided. The entire staff is topnotch!

Lendzey Garcia
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I was in a very bad/ major car accident I originally had an attorney who wasn’t trying to help me out much or take any of my calls so I called Tiemann and told them my situation. They made it an AWESOME and Smooth transition over to them and took on both cases I had. I just settled on my big case and am beyond great full. For them and their team! I highly recommend them. To add on to this a little On how much they will work with you, I moved to Montana in the middle of all Of this and it was not an issue!