What to do if I was recently in a car accident for which I was at fault and found out that I don’t have insurance?

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What to do if I was recently in a car accident for which I was at fault and found out that I don’t have insurance?

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Asked on January 9, 2013 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the other driver, who was not at fault in the accident, has uninsured motorist coverage, that driver will file an uninsured motorist claim with his/her insurance company.  That claim would include property damage and if injured, a separate claim for personal injury.  If that case is settled with the insurance company, that insurance company will then sue you for the amount it paid on the claim.

If the other driver does not have uninsured motorist coverage, the other driver will sue you for negligence and will seek compensation for property damage (cost of repairs to his/her car) and compensation for personal injury.  Compensation for personal injury will include the medical bills, pain and suffering (an amount in addition to the medical bills) and wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills and wage loss is straight reimbursement.

If the other driver or the insurance company obtains a judgment against you in an amount you can't afford to pay, they can enforce the judgment by a wage garnishment or a lien on your property.

If you can't afford to pay the judgment, it would be advisable to file bankruptcy at that time.  Depending on your income and other factors, you may be eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is straight liquidation that eliminates certain types of debts.  If you are not eligible to file Chapter 7, you will need to file Chapter 13.  Chapter 13 requires a plan (budget) for payment of creditors.


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