08 Jan I’m Being Sued For A Car Accident. What Can They Take?
Hearing that you’re on the receiving end of a suit initiated by someone has to be very high up on the list of one of the worst things a person could hear. Car accidents are one of the leading causes of personal injury in the United States. If you have been in a car accident, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages. But, if you’ve been slapped with a lawsuit, it’s in your best interest to start weighing your options and take a proactive approach.
There are many different types of car accidents, but the most common are rear-end collisions, head-on collisions, and side-impact collisions. In a rear-end collision, the car hit from behind is usually at fault. In a head-on collision, usually, both cars are at fault. In a side-impact collision, the car that is hit from the side is generally at fault.
If you have been in a car accident and subsequently received a summons from the court, you should contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. A personal injury lawyer will be able to tell you if you have good defenses or a counterclaim, and what is the minimum liability you can get away with. It is only natural to worry about things you may lose because of a suit with a strong claim and that is exactly what we will discuss in this article.
California is a tort-based insurance state, which means that if you are injured in an accident, you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver to recover compensation for your damages. If you win your lawsuit, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will be required to pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
However, the reverse is also true. If you’re the one at fault, you might have to pay as well. Your insurance should be able to cover most of the claim. Sometimes, insurance policies do not offer a large enough cover because the accident may be severe. In these cases, it is best to follow the steps we’ve listed below.
What to do When You Receive the Suit Notification
If you’re being sued for a car accident, it’s important to understand your rights and what you can do to protect yourself. If you’re at fault for the accident, you may be liable for damages to the other driver’s vehicle, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. If the other driver is at fault, you may be able to recover damages from them.
Make sure what happened and consult your attorney
The first step is to determine who is at fault for the accident. If you’re not sure, you should consult with an attorney. Once you know who is at fault, you can begin to take steps to protect yourself. An answer to the summons must be given within the prescribed limit of 30 days from the date of service.
Notify your insurance provider
If you’re at fault, you should contact your insurance company and let them know what happened. They will likely require you to submit a claim form and may ask you to provide documentation of the accident. Be sure to keep all of your documentation in one place so that you can easily access it when you need it.
You could be eligible for receiving damages too
If the other driver is at fault, you should contact their insurance company and let them know what happened. You may be able to recover damages from them directly, or you may need to file a lawsuit. If you’re considering a lawsuit, you should consult with an attorney to discuss your options.
No matter who is at fault, it’s important to take steps to protect yourself after a car accident. By understanding your rights and taking action to protect yourself, you can minimize the impact of the accident on your life.
Factors that Determine the Liability Amount
Car accident suits can be very complex, and the amount of damages that are awarded can depend on a variety of factors. Here are some of the main factors that can influence the amount of damages that are awarded in a car accident suit:
- The Severity of the Injuries: One of the main factors that will influence the amount of damages awarded is the severity of the injuries that were sustained in the accident. If the victim suffered serious or life-threatening injuries, they will likely be awarded more damages than if they only suffered minor injuries.
- Liability: Another important factor is who is found to be at fault for the accident. If the victim is found to be at fault, they will likely receive less damages than if the other driver is found to be at fault.
- The Insurance Coverage: The insurance coverage that is available can also impact the amount of damages that are awarded. If the victim has good insurance coverage, they may be able to recover more damages than if they have limited insurance coverage.
- The Type of Damages: The type of damages that are being sought can also play a role in determining the liability amount. For example, damages for pain and suffering may be awarded in addition to medical expenses and lost wages.
- The Jurisdiction: The jurisdiction in which the accident occurred can also impact the amount of damages that are awarded. States have different laws and procedures, so the damages that are awarded in one state may be different than in another state.
These are just some of the main factors that can influence the amount of damages that are awarded in a car accident suit. It is important to discuss your case with an experienced car accident lawyer to ensure that you are getting the full amount of compensation that you deserve.
Can the plaintiff take my assets?
If the court answers in favor of the plaintiff, they become a judgment creditor. Hence, to answer the question, yes, judgment creditors in California can take assets in order to satisfy a judgment. However, there are certain rules and procedures that must be followed in order for the creditor to successfully take the assets. For example, the creditor must first obtain a writ of execution from the court. Once the writ is obtained, the sheriff’s office may be able to help the creditor in levying and selling/ auctioning the debtor’s assets.
Assets cannot always be taken
If you are able to pay the judgment creditor in full, then you are not required to give up any of your assets. The creditor may try to pressure you into giving up your assets, but you are not legally obligated to do so when you’re capable of making the payment. It is only if you are unable to pay the full amount, that the creditor may try to garnish your wages or seize your assets.
Let’s now discuss the most common types of assets that people worry about being taken away, on failure to pay the judgment debt, and if they can even be taken away.
Although a home is commonly thought of as a safe investment, in some cases a home can be taken away by the plaintiff in a lawsuit. This process is called a forced sale or execution sale. It occurs when the court awards the home to the plaintiff as part of a judgment against the homeowner. Though it is possible for a home to be taken away by the plaintiff in a lawsuit, it is not very common. In most cases, the homeowners will be able to keep their homes.
California’s homestead exemption is a legal provision that protects a homeowner’s equity in their property from creditors. The equity is the portion of the property’s value that exceeds the amount of any outstanding mortgages or other liens on the property.
The homestead exemption is not an absolute protection, however. Creditors may still force a sale of the property to satisfy a debt, but the proceeds from the sale must first be used to pay off the mortgage or lien. Any remaining equity is then protected from the creditor.
The homestead exemption can be a valuable protection for homeowners, especially in difficult economic times. It can help prevent a seizure of the asset and allow a homeowner to keep their home even if they are facing financial difficulties.
The motor vehicle exemption is a provision under California law that allows certain individuals to exempt the value of their vehicle from the amount they owe to the creditor. This means that, if you qualify for the exemption, you can keep your car even if you are forced to relinquish it.
To qualify for the motor vehicle exemption, you must meet the following criteria:
- Your vehicle must be worth less than $3,325.
- You must be the primary debtor on the vehicle’s loan.
- You must be current on your loan payments.
- You must use the vehicle for personal transportation.
If you meet all of the above criteria, you should be able to exempt the value of your vehicle. However, this is not automatic and you will need to file the appropriate paperwork with the court and list your vehicle as an exempt asset. If you have any questions about the motor vehicle exemption or any other aspect of the law, you should speak with an experienced attorney.
Unfortunately, in the state of California, wages are not exempt from garnishment for most types of debt. There are a few exceptions, however. If the debt is for child support, spousal support, or taxes, then your wages may be exempt. Additionally, if you can prove that the garnishment would cause you financial hardship, you may be able to get a court to exempt your wages.
If your wages are being garnished, it’s important to understand your rights. You may be able to get the garnishment reduced or stopped entirely. Speak to a trusted attorney in your area to learn more about your options.
Personal Property and Miscellaneous Items
When it comes to debt, most people focus on owed money in the form of loans or credit cards. However, you may be surprised to learn that judgments can also lead to wage garnishment and seizure of personal property. The good news is that, in California, there are certain types of personal property that are exempt from seizure during the process of collecting a judgment debt.
The most common type of exempt property is what is known as ‘essential household goods.’ This includes things like beds, clothing, cookware, and other items necessary for everyday life (up to $3,500 in value). You are also allowed to keep one vehicle per licensed driver in your household, as well as any tools needed for your job.
Other types of property that may be exempt from seizure include jewelry (up to $8,725 in value), life insurance policies, and certain types of retirement accounts.
Of course, it is always best to try to avoid a judgment debt in the first place. If you do find yourself in this situation, however, it is important to know what property is protected so that you can keep your most essential items.
You Can Protect Your Assets
If you are involved in a lawsuit or not, there are several things you can do to protect your assets. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Keep good records. This includes documentation of all your income, expenses, and assets. This will help you prove your case and show the court what you are entitled to.
- Put your assets in your spouse’s name. If your assets are in your spouse’s name, they are protected from creditors.
- Set up a trust. A trust can help protect your assets from creditors and the court.
- Transfer your assets to your children. If you have children, you can transfer your assets to them. This will help protect your assets from the court.
- Get insurance. Insurance can help protect your assets from creditors.
Contact An Experience Car Accident Attorney Today!
Hire a car accident attorney. An attorney can help you protect your assets and represent you in court. No one likes to be sued. But with the help of a good attorney, you can get through it. If you’re facing a car accident suit, contact us today for a consultation.