If I rear-ended by someone who only has $15,000 minimum liability but my costs are more than that, what are my options?

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If I rear-ended by someone who only has $15,000 minimum liability but my costs are more than that, what are my options?

I rear-ended by someone who is not here legally, has no driver’s license but does have car insurance and carries the minimum of 15,000 liability. That barely covers my lost wages and the lost income from my second job. I am still in pain and seeing a doctor on a regular basis. Do I have any other options?

Asked on December 12, 2016 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unless you have your own insurance providing coverage in this case, your only option, to get more than the at-fault driver's insurance will pay (since the insurer ONLY has to pay up to its policy limit) would be to sue the at-fault driver. The limits of his policy do not limit his liability; it only caps how much insurance will pay for him. If sued, he is personally responsible for an amounts over his insurance limit. 
That's the law. Unfortunately, you can't get money from someone who has none--or at least none that you can find or reach. If he is here illegally, does not own real estate (since if he does, you could potentially put a lien on it), either earns little or works for cash, which makes proving and reaching his income very hard, and has little in the bank, you could win your lawsuit and be unable to collect.


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