How best to defend against liability for a car accident?

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How best to defend against liability for a car accident?

I recently was involved in an automobile accident. The person in front me stopped to avoid hitting a dog. The owner of the dog was chasing him and I wasn’t sure what was going on since she was in front of me; I was looking to make sure there wasn’t a child. When I looked up she had come to a complete stop and I rear-ended her. I am battling a divorce now and my ex-husband made some changes so I didn’t have insurance on my brand new car (which was a loss and as was hers). The officer listed me as at fault? Can I fight this to get out of paying for her damages?

Asked on December 29, 2011 under Accident Law, Arkansas

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you are going to be held liable for the accident because it was a rear-end collision and also since the police report found you to be at fault.  You will also be subject to penalties for driving without insurance.  The penalty for driving without insurance varies from state to state.

Since you didn't have insurance, you could be sued by the other driver.  In a lawsuit for negligence for being at fault in the accident, the other driver would be seeking compensation for property damage to her vehicle and if injured she would also have a personal injury claim.  The personal injury claim would include the medical bills, pain and suffering and wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills.

If the other driver gets a court judgment against you in an amount that you can't afford to pay, it would be advisable to file bankruptcy.  It would be premature to file bankruptcy until there is a judgment against you because you would not know the amount of the judgment.  If you are unable to pay the judgment, bankruptcy would stop a wage garnishment which would be a way to enforce the judgment against you.

 


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