Asked in Personal Injury and Car Accidents for California

Q: I might can get sued for over $100,000 and I do not have that kind amount of money.

Back in 2015 I got into 3 cars involved accident. It was my fault. I didn't pay enough attention while driving. Most damage was on my car and the car in front of me. Now the problem is that the lady I hit might wants to sue me for her personal injury on her neck/back, according to my insurance agent. Recently, she had a surgery and her bill came out for $100,000. I don't have that kind of money and my income is not high enough since I just graduated from college and I am just an intern at my current job right now. I also do not own any mortgages and the car that I drive right now is under my husband name. Should I be worried for myself and for my husband? The lady hasn't sued me yet and my insurance say that they will provide me a defense attorney for me, in case if something happens. Please, advice me something. It has been bothering me very much. Thank you.

5 Lawyer Answers
McCall Baugh
McCall Baugh
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You buy insurance in the event that if something like this happens, you have coverage. I don't know how much coverage is on your vehicle, but let your insurance do their job and hire an attorney. Voice your concerns to your adjuster, or the attorney if they are already assigned.

Although possible, it is highly unlikely they will go after your assets, particularly because it sounds as if you don't own property and are early on in your career.

Take a deep breath, your insurance company has an obligation to you as an insured driver.

Manuel Alzamora Juarez
Manuel Alzamora Juarez
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Berkeley, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Unless you have assets and liquidity over the $100k at this time. You do not have to worry, yet. In order for the plaintiff lawyer to get the max on your policy, he has to accept the first $100k. If he does so, he has to release the insurance company and you. If he does not and files a lawsuit, he may get the $100 k but by that time you may consider filing bankruptcy. Or. he may ask you to contribute some monies before the lawsuit. Let your insurance lawyer handle the defense but keep a close eye on the litigation.

Also, I suggest that you consider buying a $500k to one million auto insurance policy and a $5,000,000 umbrella policy to protect your family assets in the future. As a medical doctor you are a target for everyone that can claim injuries against you. Best of luck.

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
PREMIUM
Answered
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Does your insurance coverage suffice to cover the damages? More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law practice website, www.AEesq.com. I practice law in CA, NY, MA, and DC in the following areas of law: Business & Contracts, Criminal Defense, Divorce & Child Custody, and Education Law. This answer does not constitute legal advice; make any predictions, guarantees, or warranties; or create any Attorney-Client relationship.

William John Light
William John Light
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If you had liability insurance, you need to tender the claim to your insurer and let it handle the matter. If you didn't have insurance, you may not get sued because PI attorneys don't like to pursue cases on a contingency when they won't get paid. If you do get sued and don't have insurance, or the judgment against you is in excess of your policy limits, you might want to consider consulting a bankruptcy attorney.

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Wyomissing, PA

A: Husband--no issue if you weren't married at the time. Even if you were, he's not at fault unless he reached over and caused the crash by taking the wheel.

They are after your insurance, not you. However, you need to let your company handle it.

Ultimately, if they were to get a judgment, you would declare bankruptcy. They would then get nothing.

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