If I am responsible for an auto accident and am sued by the other driver, can he/she touch my IRA and pension?

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If I am responsible for an auto accident and am sued by the other driver, can he/she touch my IRA and pension?

My husband and I are retired senior citizens. Almost all of our assets are tied up in my IRA’s and a life insurance policy. He collects a monthly pension which covers our living expenses. I work part-time flexible hours helping the elderly in their own homes for a modest hourly rate. We live in an apartment in our son’s home. Aside from a 17 year old car and the IRA’s, we have no other assets. If I should have an auto accident and it is determined it is my fault, can the other driver successfully sue me if he/she has full tort? That is, can he/she touch my IRA’s or insurance?

Asked on August 25, 2019 under Accident Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

You can be sued, but from what you write, you are essentially what is commonly called "judgment proof," or to be accurate, since a judgment can be rendered against you, "collections proof"--since it is collecting from you that the plaintiff, or person suing you, would have difficulty.
An IRA cannot be garnished; a pension cannot be garnished; life insurance cannot be garnished. You don't own real estate. The only things at risk are your old car (which has little economic value) and whatever money you happen to have in a bank account.


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