What can we do abouta judgement awarded against my husbandof whichwe were unaware?

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What can we do abouta judgement awarded against my husbandof whichwe were unaware?

My husband was the driver of a vehicle that hit a lady from behind. The vehicle’s brakes were bad and was a company vehicle. The company is now out of business. The lady sued her insurance company for compensationand the insurance company is now suing my husband since the company is bankrupt. Why wouldn’t they have sued the owner of the company? We first found out about all of this when we received a “Notice for Exemptions”. We have now asked for a hearing regarding the exemptions letter. But I’m scared. We do not own anything except debt and we are not the kind of people who have lots of expensive furniture or antiques, all of our furnishings are purchased at discount stores. What can we do?

Asked on December 28, 2010 under Accident Law, North Carolina

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Has the suit just begun or have you been served with a default judgement along with the Notice of Exemptions?  It sounds as if you are actually far along in the game rather than at the beginning so please find out. Now, if your husband operating the vehicle during the course of his employment then he is entitled to a defense by the insurance company that covered the business vehicle at the time of the loss. Do you have a copy of the police report? Get it please in any way that you can.  On the report there should be an insurance code listed along with the vehicle identity information: plate, registration, etc.  That code will tell you the name of the insurance company.  The tricky part for you will be finding the information out.  You could try the Department of Insurance in your state.  An insurance agent may also be able to run the code as will your insurance company.  Send the summons and complaint to your insurance company as well right away.  They will disclaim coverage but they may help defend you for a time being or help you in finding out the name of the insurance company and info on your husband's defunct company.  Was the company that your husband worked for a corporation or a  business entity that was registered in the State of North Carolina?  Then your State Division of Coroprations may be able to help because they are going to have to be brought in to the suit.  This is a lot to take in I know and you will need real legal help here but doing the above may get an attorney involved to help with your defense at some point and hopefully sooner rather than later.  Good luck. 

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You need to contact your lawyer...see if your insurance company or the company's insurance company covered him during the drive.  If this was a company vehicle and your husband drove the vehicle during work hours, the company should be included in the lawsuit...so now you may need to sue the company, the owner and the insurance company.  Further, the longer you wait the worse it may be. It may simply be that you will be judgment proof but you need a lawyer with strong experience in work vehicle accidents to cross claim and counter sue.  The lawyer for the woman correctly sued your husband but you now need to bring in the other people who need to be sued and should have also been sued in the first place.


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