Generally car accidents are negligence, which is the kind of tort that can be discharged in a bankruptcy action. Your son should see a BK lawyer ASAP. The BK will take his credit many years to recover, but this does seem like his best option.
Avvo doesn't pay us for these responses, and I'm not your lawyer just because I answer this question or respond to any follow-up comments. If you want to hire me, please contact me. Otherwise, please don't expect a further response. We need an actual written agreement to form an attorney-client relationship. I'm only licensed in CA and you shouldn't rely on this answer, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it's impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue.
You should consult with experienced bankruptcy counsel to make this decision. An attorney will go through his income and expenses, his debts and whether it is the right decision for him. There may also be other considerations as well depending upon the circumstances surrounding the accident.
He should definitely consider bankruptcy and talk to a bankruptcy attorney to confirm this would be a good idea for him. Most of us bankruptcy attorneys give free consultations. Here is a link to the many legal guides I have written about the bankruptcy process: http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/94109-ca-shaye-larkin-257831/guides.html
The information provided herein is general information only and not legal advice. The information provided herein does not create an attorney client relationship and is not a substitute for having a consultation with an attorney. It is important to have a consultation with an attorney as the information provided in this forum is limited and cannot possibly cover all potential issues in a given situation.
In New Jersey, a judgment for damages arising from a car accident will cause your son's license to be suspended for as long as the judgment remains unpaid. In a case like this bankruptcy may be the only way for him to keep his license.