Liability insurance is the coverage in an automobile insurance policy that protects an at fault driver from liability to the person(s) injured by the at fault driver. In other words, it protects you if you injure someone else. Virginia requires a minimum of $25,000.00 per person and $50,000.00 per accident in liability insurance coverage. The insurance company does not have to pay more than the limits.
So, if you are in an accident it is possible that the other driver may only have $25,000.00 in coverage. Since almost any injury involving surgery will cost more than $25,000.00, the minimum policy limits are often not enough. Most people with $25,000.00 in liability coverage do not have a lot of money to pay personally for injuries to others. People who have money usually buy more insurance.
It is possible to make an at fault driver pay personally for damages but it almost always requires a trial, additional court appearances and a very small amount of money at a time. It is possible to force an employer to hold back wages to pay a judgment and there are other mechanisms in the law for collecting a judgment but it is difficult and slow.
The way to protect yourself from getting caught in this situation is to purchase higher Underinsured Motorist Coverage. That will be the next topic.