If the damages in an auto accident for which I am at fault exceed my insurance coverage, am I opened to be sued?

Can they come after my home, 401k, stock investments and bank account?

Asked on September 17, 2014 under Accident Law, Florida

Answers:

Micah Longo / The Longo Firm

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The short answer is YES. 

Suppose you have a $50,000 judgment against you, but your policy limit is only $10,000, then you are personally responsible for the balance of $40,000.  This is called an excess judgment. 

Now, unless you have significant assets which can be obtained through collection procedures, attorneys rarely pursue excess judgments, for no other reason than the cost of pursuing an excess judgment outweighs the likelihood of success.

Essentially, the Plaintiff becomes a judgment creditor any other creditor (think credit card companies).  Luckily, Florida has very "debtor-friendly" laws, protecting things like your residential home.

 

http://www.FloridaCivilTrialLawyers.com

Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, if the damages exceed your policy limits, you are personally on the hook.  What they can "come after" if they obtain a judgment against you varies by state.  Generally, there is a homestead exemption.  Almost always creditors with a judgment can garnish your bank account and your wages.  They can also make you appear at a debtor's exam to reveal your other assets that may be subject to a lien.


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