What canI do if an at fault driver doesn’t have enough car insurance to cover my damages?

I was in an auto accident,was injured, the driver who hit me had the bare minimum state required insurance. The bodily injury coverage was $15000, however, my injuries were major. They left me totally disabled and needing care for the rest of my life, with further possibility of more surgery for my injuries. The insurance company wants me to settle for the $15,000 policy’s limit. However, I’ll need care for the rest of my life. What do I do and what options do I have? My insurance company filed a underinsured claim against the driver because his insurence did not cover the car damage. This person may or may not have other money or assets.  Should I still speak with a presonal injury attorney? I’m in Riverside, CA.

Asked on July 23, 2010 under Accident Law, California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes and you should do so as soon as possible.  It sounds from your question that your insurance company is on notice of the accident.  Do you have underinsurance?  If yes, then they need to be put on notice of your intention to make a claim under your policy (your company).  Also, did the driver live with any other person that has an insurance policy?  Some states allow "stacking" meaning that you can go after the other policies in the house.  The attorney will let you know if California allows it. And yes, you can go after the assets of the person that hit you but you need to get a judgement which will entail a trial.  Also check out filing with social security for disability benefits.  You are entitled. Good luck to you.

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