What If I dont have money to pay?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What If I dont have money to pay?

Hello, so I got in a car accident and I was at fault,
police report was made. I had liability insurance at
that time, so it covered the other persons damages.
The other person is trying to file injury damages
through there lawyer but want 200,000 in damages.
My insurance only covers 15,000-30,000. My
whole car was recked, but there truck barley got a
dent on the bumper. Would I have to pay the rest of
what they are asking? I dont own a business or a
home. I have nothing other what Im earning from
work which is to pay my bills rent etc. Id really
appreciate any suggestions and advice about what I
could do.

Asked on December 17, 2018 under Accident Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you were at fault and you did cause $200,000 in injuries (e.g. medical costs; provable "pain and suffering"; etc.) to the other person, then if they sue you and win (which they presumably will do, if you were at fault), you will have a judment against you for any amounts not paid by your insurance (e.g. if they win $200k from you and your insurance pays $30k, you will have to pay the other $170k). The judgment will last and can be enforced against you for years if you don't pay it: they could garnish your wages, look to take money from your bank account, put a lien on any property you own or buy, etc.
However, if you simply can't pay any judgment they get--and remember, you only have to pay if they do sue and win--because your assets and/or income are so much smaller than what you owe, you could file for bankrupty to reduce or eliminate the judgment; bankruptcy works against amounts owed due to lawsuits like this. The bankruptcy would also work against most other debts (like credit card debts, medical bills, etc.) you owe at the same time, so if you are sued and lose, look into bankruptyc as an option.

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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