What to do about being determined to be 100% at fault for an accident that I don’t think I was totally responsible for?

I was driving home from work and was involved in an accident with a fire apparatus There were no major injuries but there was a lot of damage to their vehicle. My liability insurance was only $50,000 and the damages totaled over $83,000. A claim management company has contacted me and wants me to pay the rest. They want me to pay $500 a month or settle for $25,000. I cannot afford either. I believe that they carry an underinsured policy with their insurance. I do not remember anything from the accident due to my injuries. The State Police determined that it was my fault due to being a tired driver. I disputed that it was totally my fault because the accident occurred just beyond a crest of a hill. What should I do now?

Asked on January 11, 2013 under Accident Law, Indiana

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The police report is controlling in determining liability for the auto accident, and it is unlikely that you will be able to get it changed.

Even if the fire department has underinsured coverage, you will still be sued because the  fire department's insurance company will seek to recover what it paid on the claim.  If the fire department obtains a judgment against you, the judgment can be enforced by a wage garnishment or a lien on your property.

It would be advisable to file bankruptcy since you can't afford to pay the claim.  It would be advisable to speak with a bankruptcy attorney.  Your income and other factors will determine if you are eligible to file Chapter 7.  Chapter 7 bankruptcy is straight liquidation which eliminates certain types of debts.  If you are not eligible to file Chapter 7, you can file Chapter 13; however, Chapter 13 requires a plan (budget) for payment of creditors.


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