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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 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.


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