Best bet is to search Avvo for a car accident lawyer in your city who can try to handle this default judgement problem.
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She can file a motion to set aside the judgment. She will have to prove that she was never served. She will need to hire a lawyer. If she had no insurance, she will have to hire a lawyer to file the motion, get the case reopened, and then fight the Personal Injury accident case on its merit. Or she can file bankruptcy to deal with money judgment for the case. As far as DMV is concerned, I don't know the answer.
Your niece can try to set aside the default and default judgment pursuant to CCP 473.5 on the ground that she failed to receive actual notice in time to defend the action. Once the judgment is set aside then the attorney can work on defending it.
Yes, she should retain a civil defense attorney to file a motion to vacate the judgment based on a lack of personal jurisdiction due to improper service. It will be money well spent to avoid a $310,000 judgment.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
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