Car Accident Liability Insurance


As a Virginia auto accident lawyer, I see it happening too often. You are stopped in your car obeying a red light on University Boulevard in Fairfax, Virginia. You look into your rearview mirror. You see a young woman. She is driving fast. She is texting on her cell phone. She is a distracted driver. You know what is about to happen. She crashes into your stopped car without ever applying her brakes. You feel a sharp pain in your low back. You want the driver, named Denise, to take full responsibility for your Fairfax, Virginia car accident.

Virginia Minimum Liability Auto Insurance Limits

You learn that Denise is insured with GEICO. Her auto accident liability policy limits are $25,000/$50,000/$20,000. What does this mean?

Auto accident lawyers call policy limits of $25,000/$50,000/$20,000 "split limits." $25,000 is the most Denise's insurance company, GEICO, will pay for a personal injury suffered by any one person in a motor vehicle accident. $50,000 is the total GEICO will pay for a personal injury suffered by everyone involved in the car accident. $20,000 is the most GEICO will pay for all property damage caused by Denise's negligence. For example, if you, your wife and two children were seriously injured in this Fairfax, Virginia car crash, the most GEICO will pay to any one person would be $25,000 because this is the "per person" policy liability limit. The total that GEICO would pay to all four injured people is $50,000 because this is the "per occurrence" policy liability limit. The third split limit, $20,000, is the most GEICO will pay for all property damage, rental car, towing and storage expenses caused by Denise's negligence because this is the property damage limit.

Virginia Excess Liability Auto Insurance

If the negligent driver, Denise, were driving a friend's car with the friend's permission, Denise would have more liability auto insurance to pay your Fairfax, Virginia personal injury claim. The auto liability policy insuring the friend's car is "primary" -- it pays first. Denise's auto liability insurance with GEICO is "excess" -- it pays your injury claim second after the liability limits on the friend's auto policy are offered.

For example, assume the friend's car that Denise was driving is insured with Allstate with liability limits of $100,000/$300,000/$50,000. Allstate's liability coverage is said to be primary since Allstate insures the car that Denise was driving which caused your Fairfax, Virginia car accident. Denise's personal liability insurance with GEICO is excess. The total available auto liability insurance coverage from Allstate and GEICO combined would be respectively $100,000 (Allstate) and $25,000 (GEICO) equals $125,000. To learn more about excess liability coverage refer to the 2006 Virginia Trial Lawyers Association's annual convention insurance lecture presented by Gerald Schwartz entitled "Non-Owned Auto Liability Coverage".

"Auto Insurance: How To Get All The Coverage And
Beat The Defenses" -- A Reference Book For
Auto Accident Lawyers By Gerald Schwartz

Gerald Schwartz was honored by the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association to be the only lawyer to present the statewide VTLA's "Master of Advocacy Seminar" in October, 2007. The Virginia Trial Lawyers Association published a seminar book written by Gerald Schwartz entitled Auto Insurance: How To Get All the Coverage and Beat the Defenses as a reference book for lawyers. To consult this reference book, click here.

About Gerald Schwartz

Virginia auto accident lawyer Gerald Schwartz has represented hundreds of people injured in Fairfax and Arlington car accidents for 30 years. He is a recognized expert on how to maximize insurance coverage in serious accident cases.

Free Consultation

For a free consultation with Gerald Schwartz, to get straight answers about your case, call 1-800-423-0055.