What happens if I am hit by a person who does
not have insurance or who does not have enough insurance to cover my damages? First off,
California requires that every driver carry a minimum liability policy. The minimum policy
is what’s known as a 1530 policy. But the reality of the situation is since there’s
so many people in California, a lot of people don’t have insurance, or a lot of people don’t
pay their insurance on time. So you cannot rely on that person to cover for your damages. If you are hit by a person who has no insurance,
you may have the option to sue them. You may get a judgment against them, but getting a
judgment does not mean you’re going to get paid. You have to collect on this judgment.
The chances are people that have no insurance are not going to have the assets necessary
to pay out this judgment. Secondly, collecting on a judgment is not
a fun process. It’s long and it’s difficult. Thirdly, the person against whom you’ve got
a judgment may try to go through bankruptcy and discharge any personal injury judgment
you have against them. Fourthly, what if you’re hit by a person who
has a minimal policy? Say if your medical bills total $100,000. That person who’s at
fault, the insurance is only obligated to pay you up to amount of the liability limits.
In that situation, the insurance company is only on the hook for $15,000. What do you
do about this other $85,000 in outstanding medical bills? For that reason, you need to make sure that
you are proactive and have enough insurance on your own. So, you need to immediately call
your adjuster. Make sure you have the following. You need to ask if you have UM or UIM. This
is Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist. The minimum you should carry is a 100/300
policy. Secondly, make sure you have collision coverage.
This allows you to get your car repaired in a timely fashion. Make sure you have rental
coverage. This allows you to make a claim through your insurance company to get you
a rental car in the event that your car is taking a long time to get repaired. Make sure you have medical payments. This
is an elective policy that will help pay off your medical bills regardless of fault. Bottom line in this instance is, if your involved
in a car accident, you cannot bank on the other person covering you for the full extent
of your damages. Chances are they might have no insurance. They might have minimal insurance.
You want to take the proactive steps necessary to protect yourself and make sure you get
full compensation for all your damages.