If I got into a car accident in which I was at fault and the passenger of my vehicle is now suing me for $25, 000, what can I do if I cannot afford to pay her?

UPDATED: Mar 17, 2013

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If I got into a car accident in which I was at fault and the passenger of my vehicle is now suing me for $25, 000, what can I do if I cannot afford to pay her?

At the time of the accident I had liability insurance but I am no longer covered by it. What is going to happen to me?

Asked on March 17, 2013 under Personal Injury, Missouri


Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to consult a lawyer and you will have to pay for it.  I strongly recommend this - you really cannot navigate this issue alone.

Your question raises many issues.  First - what happened to your insurance?  If you were covered at the time but the insurance lapsed later, then you will be covered for this collision.  There may be a way to get the insurance to cover this collision but you will need a lawyer to look at it.

Next, I doubt they are suing you for $25,000.  I bet that is the "jurisdictional amount" - the minimum amount needed to sue in the court where they filed the case.  I bet they can recover whatever amount a jury would award.

Next, is anyone else potentially liable?  In Florida, the owner of the car is liable, including rental car companies.  Was anyone else involved in the collision?  The plaintiff may really be after another party who has insurance.

There are other considerations.  If you end up with no insurance coverage, and you have no liquid assets, a lawyer can usually get the other party to drop the case against you.  Please consult a lawyer. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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