The jury would make an award that is formalized in a judgment. The liability carrier will pay the judgment UP TO THE LIMITS OF THEIR POLICY. To the extent your underinsured motorist coverage exceeds the liability coverage, they will pay the judgment UP TO THE LIMITS OF THE POLICY. The insurance company is not going to pay beyond their policy limits. The individual defendant would be responsible for the remainder of the judgment. The key in this kind of case, the key is to get an experienced injury attorney who can track down ALL available coverage. There may be more than one liability policy (for the driver). Believe it or not, you may be insured under more than just "your" underinsured policy. (i.e. the policies of other relatives with whom you reside, etc.). Given the high medical bills, I would strongly recommend consulting with an attorney. There's a little more info here:
Owens & Miller, PLLC
4030 Wake Forest Road, Suite 101
Raleigh, NC 27609
Phone no: (919) 719-2750
Fax no: (919) 516-0063
The insurance company will pay up to the policy limits for the applicable coverage. The remainder of the balance would be collected from the defendant. If the defendant does not have assets, he or she may file for bankruptcy if applicable. It is very difficult to collect from a person with little or no assets. If the person has substantial assets, collection becomes a little bit easier. If the response was helpful, please mark helpful. I agree with my colleagues, too.
This communication does not create an attorney-client relationship. This means that I am not your lawyer and I will not appear in court simply by posting on this site. If you would like me to represent you, you must call my office, sign a written fee agreement and pay a legal fee, assuming I do not have a conflict of interest and you are in Southern California. If I respond to your question and you have follow up questions by posting on this site, I may or may not reply. This information should not be construed as legal advice. I am offering my opinion. Each person's case is unique, and that's why you should contact a lawyer over the phone for a consultation for your situation. That's why you should not rely on any response that an attorney posts on this site. I am licensed in California. I am not licensed in another state or country. I do not practice law outside of California.
Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and advice about personal injury law.