Lots of people are irresponsible. Lots of people are selfish.
Lots of people drive around without insurance.
I constantly meet with clients who get hit by a driver who doesn’t have car insurance. Some of these clients read my last article and decided to protect themselves with UM/UIM coverage, some of these clients did not (read it - seriously, it only takes 3 minutes).
However, almost all of these clients ask the same question:
“Why don’t we just sue the guy for everything he’s worth?”
An Unfortunate Truth
You can sue the other driver. You can go through the lengthy litigation process. You can go to court.
You can win $10,000,000.00 at trial!
But collecting that money without insurance coverage? That’s the tough part.
Unless you are suing one of the Kardashians who has lots of money and assets or a company, most people will not have assets that you can recover.
Why? Because of something put in place to protect people from debt collectors called the Homestead Act.
Homestead Act Protections
There are lots of things you cannot collect:
Food in their pantry
Tools or books
Two firearms, 'Merica
A motorcycle, 3 wheeler,
4 wheeler, or car for each family member with a driver’s license
12 heads of cattle
120 fowl (bummer, right?)
IRAs & 401Ks
Life Insurance and Annuities
On top of that, they get to keep $30,000.00 if the individual is single or $60,000.00 if the individual is part of a family.
After all of those protected exemptions, what is left for you to collect?
Is it right or fair to you?
As unfair as that may be, it is the unfortunate truth.