What to do if I had a traffic accident for which I was at fault and am now being sued for more than my policy limits?

UPDATED: Oct 13, 2013

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What to do if I had a traffic accident for which I was at fault and am now being sued for more than my policy limits?

My policy limits are $10,000/$15,000. I have been sued by the other party who wants more money. I settled for the property over $10,000 but for the injury case the other party wants over $15,000. My own insurer told me that it cannot settle because the injury case is not settled and told me to get legal aid. I don’t know what to do?

Asked on October 13, 2013 under Accident Law, California


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your insurance company should provide you with an attorney at no cost to you. 

If the personal injury claim eventually results in a judgment against you that you cannot afford to pay, it would be advisable at that time to file bankruptcy.  Depending on your income, you may be able to file Chapter 7.  Chapter 7 bankruptcy is straight liquidation which eliminates certain types of debts.  If you are ineligible to file Chapter 7, you would file Chapter 13; however, Chapter 13 requires a plan (budget) for repayment of creditors.

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