What to do if I recently got involved in a car accident in which I was at fault and my insurance policy didn’t cover bodily injury?

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What to do if I recently got involved in a car accident in which I was at fault and my insurance policy didn’t cover bodily injury?

Now his insurance company is charging through a credit collection agency all of his hospital bills. The amount keeps increasing, it started at $300 and now it’s up to $7,000. There is no possibility of me even being close to paying that off with my income and expenses. Should I get a lawyer to fight this?

Asked on May 7, 2013 under Personal Injury, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

When the party who was not at fault in the accident completes his medical treatment, his claim against you will include the medical bills, pain and suffering (an amount in addition to the medical bills) and wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  When he completes his medical treatment and is released by the doctor or is declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary which means having reached a point in his medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, he will file a lawsuit against you for negligence.  If you had had bodily injury coverage, the case may have been settled with your insurance company without a lawsuit.  When you are served with the summons and complaint (the complaint is the lawsuit attached to the summons) refer the matter to your insurance carrier.  Your insurance carrier may provide you with an attorney at no cost, who will handle the case for you.  If the other party eventually gets a judgment against you, it would be advisable to file bankruptcy at that time.  It would be premature to file bankruptcy before there is a judgment against you because you would not know the amount of the judgment.  Chapter 7 bankruptcy is straight liquidation which eliminates certain types of debts.  Your income will determine whether you are eligible for Chapter 7.  If you are eligible for Chapter 7, the injured  party will collect nothing.  If you are not eligible to file Chapter 7, you can file Chapter 13; however, Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires a plan (budget) for payment of creditors. 


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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