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Can I Lose My House Due to At-Fault Car Accident Injuries?
What a defendant can lose in a lawsuit depends on the liability insurance limit from their auto insurance. If the injuries and damage are minimal, auto insurance may pay for the total damages. But if the injuries are severe, the defendant may owe more money than their auto insurance covers.
Any of the defendant’s personal assets, including a house, vehicle and savings, are at risk when they reach their insurance limit. What comes out of the defendant’s pocket will depend on how much their auto insurance policy will cover.
California’s minimum liability insurance requirements are $15,000 for injury/death to one person and $30,000 for more than one person. For property damage, it is $5,000. At the very least, a defendant can expect this much to be paid for by their auto insurance. These numbers are only the minimum requirements, and many people extend their coverage beyond the basic amount. Even so, one severe injury could result in a hefty lawsuit with the defendant owing their personal assets.
Another Considering Factor: At-Fault Vs No-Fault States
When determining if it’s possible to lose a house due to a car accident, it’s also important to consider whether the state where the accident occurred is considered at-fault or no-fault. In at-fault insurance, the driver responsible for the accident must pay for all damages. Meanwhile, no-fault insurance means the victim has a limited right to sue and may only sue for non-economic damages like suffering or pain. In no-fault insurance, each individual’s insurance would only cover medical bills and lost wages for the policyholder.
It gets even more complicated, such as the Pennsylvania no-fault insurance law. Pennsylvania and a handful of other states are “choice” states where each driver can decide whether they want at-fault- or no-fault insurance. So even if it feels obvious who is at fault for an accident, each case varies and can be complicated in its own right. Seeking assistance from a lawyer in the state where the accident occurred is crucial.
Work With an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Every personal injury case will be unique to the situation, location and injuries. Who is at-fault in a car accident is not as cut and dry as you might expect. Contacting a lawyer in the state where the accident occurred is the best first step to determine whether your house and assets may be at risk. At Avrek Law, we work in several states and have recovered more than $1 billion in compensation in over 45,000 cases. Contact our team for a free evaluation to learn more.