How Can I protect myself if I don’t have coverage for this loss? Claimant is threatening to take our land.

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How Can I protect myself if I don’t have coverage for this loss? Claimant is threatening to take our land.

We have a property in TX and one of our cows got loose onto the hwy. A semi truck
hit the cow at midnight, causing damages to their truck. I do not have property
insurance to cover this loss, how can I prepare myself if he sues me?

Asked on July 13, 2018 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

There is nothing you can do to protect yourself *after* you are aware you may be sued. There are things you can do before a lawsuit is even threatened, such as putting assets into a trust, which will protect them in many situations, but the law does not let you hide assets from known or suspected creditors, including people who may sue you--once you are aware that you may owe money or may be sued, any transacton done to hide or protect assets can be voided or undone.
The situation may not be as serious as you think:
1) To win a lawsuit, he'd have to prove that you were negligent, or unreasonably careless, such as by not securing the cow properly. If you took reasonable precautions but the cow got loose from no fault of yours, you are not liable to him.
2) He'd also have to prove that he was not careless; if he was--such as driving too fast or texting while driving, driving while too tired and falling asleep, etc.--that would reduce, or possibly even eliminate, the compensation to which he'd be entitled. You can't recover compensation from another person to extent an accident is your fault.
3) Even if you are at fault and he is not, he can only get from you the cost to repair his truck. That may be an amount you can pay.


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