What to do if I got into an accident in my grandmother’s car about a year ago but I wasn’t on her insurance and I only had a learner’s permit?

I just got a letter in the mail saying that I have to pay the plaintiff over $7,000 and it’s the final judgement by default. There’s no way I can afford that because I’m paying for school. What are my options?

Asked on September 25, 2015 under Accident Law, Florida


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Your grandmother's insurance company probably denied coverage since you weren't included as an insured driver and only had a learner's permit.
The default means that you were served with the summons and complaint the complaint is the lawsuit and did not file a timely answer to the complaint with the court and serve it by mail on the opposing party or opposing party's attorney.
Although you may be able to file a motion to set aside the default and continue with litigation, if the court accepts your reason for not timely  filing an answer to the complaint however, your best option at this point would be to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Chapter 7 is straight liquidation which eliminates certain types of debts including the $7,000 judgment against you in this case.

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