Most of the vehicle drivers in Japan purchase voluntary insurance called SAP in addition to CALI. The SAP is an all-in-one insurance package for compensation for cars, injury, property, and so on. Since it’s also equipped with settlement representation service, most of the car accident victims can directly communicate with the responsible party’s insurance company instead of the responsible driver. That means you can be surely compensated by the at-fault party’s insurance company in many of the cases. However, 30% of people in Japan don’t purchase voluntary insurance. So, things are much more difficult when such people become responsible for the victim’s loss. If they cause a traffic accident, it’s likely full of the victim's loss might not be compensated. In this article, we introduce three of the most challenging situations as examples and show you what to do in such cases.
A responsible party only purchases CALI and lacks the financial ability for full compensation
At-fault drivers are legally responsible for compensating for the victim’s damages. So, even if they don’t purchase voluntary insurance, they have the responsibility to pay for by their own money. However, people without voluntary insurance tend not to have enough financial ability in many cases. What if such people hit you by a car? Sometimes, there is nothing you can do to get full compensation from them. If you file a suit and confirm the total amount of compensation in a court, the court can perform compulsory execution and sell the at-fault party’s property to make money for your compensation. However, that works only when the at-fault party has something to sell. If they don’t have anything, there is no way to make them pay for you. So, whether the at-fault party purchases voluntary insurance is the most critical, especially when your damage is enormous.
Even in this case, you can rely on CALI’s payout as your only financial resource for covering your damages. You have to apply for CALI’s payout by yourself, using CALI the at-fault party purchases. You can see the article about how to apply for CALI’s payout by yourself.
A responsible party is uninsured
CALI is legally mandatory for all of the vehicle owners. If you don’t purchase CALI when driving, you will be imposed under one-year imprisonment or fines under JPY500,000 according to Japanese law. However, there are some cases where the responsible party doesn’t purchase CALI, or their CALI expires. If you got injured by such a driver, your damage could be partly covered by the Government Compensation Plan, which was established to relieve victims hit by non-insured driver or hit-and-run victims.
The coverage of the Government Compensation Plan is the same as CALI. It doesn’t cover property damage but only covers human injury. The maximum payout is JPY1,200,000 for injuries, JPY40,000,000 for residual disability, and JPY30,000,000 for death.
A responsible party is not reliable and wants to get away from me
Settlement starts after all the cost for damages is confirmed. However, settlement never starts when a responsible party never replies to the victim’s contact. In this case, send the responsible party a contents-certified mail. Contents-certified mail is a special system offered by the postal office. The postal office can certify what contents you sent, the date you sent, and the date the letter is received. So using the service can make you certify the at-fault party surely read your mail.
In the mail, you can require the at-fault party to attend to the requests of having a settlement by the coming designated date. You can also mention, if they don’t reply to you, you will file a suit. By doing that, you can give them some pressure. If they still don’t reply to you, then you can file a suit. However, even if you win in the court, if the at-fault driver doesn’t have the financial ability for compensation, the fee for filing a suit will be just lost over. So, sending a contents-certified mail and filing a suit could work only in the case where the at-fault party doesn’t have sincerity even if they have the financial ability.