What if i can't pay for a civil lawsuit from a car accident? if i dont have a job and no money in the bank and no house?

Asked over 1 year ago - Buford, GA

i was involved in a car accident my car insurance stated that if the coverage doesn't cover the claim i should get an lawyer, i was told that they should represent me if I am being sue for additional payment for the claim. what should I do?

Attorney answers (8)

  1. Glen Edward Ashman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If there is a judgment not covered by insurance. your future wages and assets are at risk. Additionally, they can cause your license to be suspended, even for life, until you pay. In some cases, if there is such a judgment, a bankruptcy can erase the bad effects. Before you get that far, your insurer has some responsibility to attempt to settle for the policy limits (or less).

    If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to... more
  2. Jesse Cole Kent

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

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    Answered . It doesn't matter if you can't afford to pay a judgment. The Plaintiff will get the judgment against you all the same. If the insurance is maxed at 25K, for example, and the judgment is for 100K, you are on the hook for $75k. You say, well, I can't pay that. It doesn't matter, the judgment is real. Once they get the judgment, they'll record a FIFA, and everywhere you go the Plaintiff's judgment will follow you. It can prevent you from getting loans, buying a car, and a number of other things. On the other hand, if you can't afford the judgment, you don't really have a lot to worry about. Frankly, your insurance company will resolve it and you probably won't have much to worry about. Unless someone was seriously injured or killed, your insurance will probably be all that the Plaintiffs come for.

  3. David B Pittman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . The insurance company is charged with zealously defending you in this matter. If the claimant does an asset check on you and there is nothing to go after, they probably won't. If they do and you do get a judgement against you, consider consulting with a bankruptcy attorney for advice. Lets hope that it done not come to that.

  4. Robert Shannon Carpenter

    Pro

    Contributor Level 10

    6

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . Your insurance company has a duty to defend you. If the damages being sought are in excess of your liability limits, your insurance company should agree to pay its policy limits with the condition that the injured party signs a "limited release." By agreeing to a limited release the injured party is agreeing to take the policy limits and release you, the insured, from any from any future exposure for excess damages above the policy limits. However, a limited release does allow the injured party to continue with a claim against their own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage assuming they have any. If the inured party will not agree to a limited release in exchange for your policy limits, then your insurance company should continue to provide you with a defense attorney.

  5. Kevin Coluccio

    Contributor Level 20

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I would see if you could get a free consultation with an attorney in your community. As pointed out, your insurance company has an obligation to protect your interests.

  6. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Even though your insurance company will provide a lawyer to defend, get a free consultation with a local car accident lawyer to review this.

  7. Robert M. Gardner Jr.

    Contributor Level 18

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your insurance company should represent you, so there is something odd about your case. I suggest you sit down with an auto accident attorney and give them all of the details. You need to be aware of whether or not you have rights you can enforce against the insurance company, as well as the consequences of the claim against you and how that can affect you going forward. As the others told you, you could end up losing your license over this, but you may also be getting ripped off by your own insurance company.

    The above information is general in nature. In order to obtain more specific and legal advice upon which to base... more
  8. Stacy E Pepper

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Sounds like you insurance company will pay policy limits, and you are judgment proof for damages over policy limits at this time, but when and if you become employed, have money in the bank, and have a house in the future, you can be garnished then.

    Attorney Stacy E. Pepper is licensed in all State and Federal Courts in Mississippi. He is a founding Partner in... more

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