What can I do if I was found at fault for an accident over a month ago?

UPDATED: Nov 7, 2013

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What can I do if I was found at fault for an accident over a month ago?

Since then I have had to pay so much out of pocket that my car is now up for repossession and I can’t even afford my new insurance rates. Is it legal for me to call my dealership and tell them the car is at the shop. It has been repaired but I can’t afford the deductable to get it out. Can the dealership repossess the car from the body shop. And can my insurance company drop my claim if I can no longer afford the coverage payments?

Asked on November 7, 2013 under Accident Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your insurer should not be able to drop your claim if you were covered (e.g. had paid your premiums) at the time the claim was made. They can, of course, drop you going forward. This said, you should re-read your policy (which is a contract) to see what it says in this regard.

The dealership should be able to repossess the car from the bodyshop, but this will not stop them from suing you for any unpaid balance on the car loan, and any costs incurred in reposessing--that is, say that you currently owe $12k more on the car, and it costs them $500 to repossess. Say the car is now worth $8k; they could sue you for the other $4.5k ($4k more on the loan; plus the repossession cost). The repair shop could also sue you for any unpaid balance.

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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