Personal injury cases often involve insurance issues that can be confusing even for the attorneys involved. The most immediate challenge in a personal injury claim is the identification of available insurance coverage. Once coverage is identified, the next critical issue is the determination of insurance policy limits. Insurance coverage issues are often complex making it very difficult for injured persons to pursue these matters on their own.
There are many different types of insurance policies. There are also vastly differing levels of coverage from one individual or business to another. Unfortunately, many individuals carry no insurance or inadequate insurance to provide compensation to those they injure or harm. The problem is most prevalent in car accidents. New Mexico leads the nation in uninsured drivers. Many more are carry inadequate insurance. To a lesser degree, the same problems carry over to property owners and businesses as well.
The fact is that without available insurance coverage, most claims are not worth pursuing. Economically, filing lawsuits in the absence of insurance coverage or low insurance policy limits simply does not make sense. Individuals and businesses that carry no or little insurance typically have no assets of value. In short, a judgment or verdict against them is purely a moral victory. The judgment or verdict itself is simply unrecoverable. The defendant is essentially what lawyers call “judgment proof”.
That is the bad news. The good news for injured persons is that it is often possible to identify insurance coverage with the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney. Without a thorough investigation, possible sources of insurance coverage could go undiscovered. The failure to identify available insurance coverage will leave the injured person either under-compensated or completely uncompensated. In short, the investigation of insurance coverage is typically the first and most important step in any personal injury claim.