What happens if you don’t pay a claim that an insurer says that you owe?

UPDATED: Jun 15, 2011

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UPDATED: Jun 15, 2011Fact Checked

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What happens if you don’t pay a claim that an insurer says that you owe?

I was moving and a couch and it fell out of the back of my truck. I did not have insurance on the truck. Now the insurance company has sent me a bill for $2110 for the damages the couch did to the other driver’s vehicle. I don’t make very much money (under $1300 a month) and I have 3 kids and a house payment. I am wondering will they pursue this amount of money all the way to court? What will happen if I can’t pay? They donate thousands to charities every year, would they maybe write me off as a charity case if I ask(like some hospitals do)?

Asked on June 15, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Mississippi


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Since you didn't have insurance on your truck, you could be sued for negligence for the damage to the other vehicle caused by the couch that fell out of your truck.  It is unlikely this would be written off as a donation to charity because the amount you owe would be used to pay for repairs to the other vehicle.  If a judgment is obtained against you and you don't pay, the judgment could be enforced by a wage garnishment or a lien on your house.

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