What can I do if I was involved in an accident which was my fault and now the injured party wants more than what my bodily injury will cover which is $25,000?

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What can I do if I was involved in an accident which was my fault and now the injured party wants more than what my bodily injury will cover which is $25,000?

Would I be responsible for the difference if I’am a full-time college student with a part-time job? I don’t have money for lawyer and don’t know what to do.

Asked on January 4, 2016 under Personal Injury, Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you were at fault--as you state you were--you are liable for *all* the other driver's costs and injuries. Of course, they must be costs and injuries he can prove exist and were caused by you (he can't just ask for any sum he feels like), but if they can be proven, you are liable for them. If they are more than your insurance coverage, your insurer should pay for up to the policy limit--but then you'll be responsible to pay any amounts over that. If you are sued and they win and get a judgment against you, if you don't pay, they could try to garnish your wages, to get money from a bank account (levy on the account), to take  a car or other personal property you own (execute on it), or put a lien on any real estate you own...and if they simply cannot collect now (if you basically have little or nothing), they can still enforce the judgment against you for years to come. If being sued for more than your insurance, you definitely want to retain an attorney to help you. Even if the attorney can't beat the suit entirely--and if you are at fault, he/she probably can't; you will likely lose if the facts say you should--the attorney will have a good chance to negotiate a better settlement (less money and/or more time to pay) than you could on your own.


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