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Can I Lose My House Due to At-Fault Car Accident Injuries?

In 2021, more than 2.4 million people were injured in car accidents; it’s no wonder we often get asked, “Can I lose my house due to at-fault car accident injuries?” Matters can get even more complicated when it turns into a he said she said car accident. Determining who is at fault for an accident and what is personally at risk for the defendant depends on many factors. Here’s an overview to help answer this frequently asked question.

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. However, 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. Consulting with a car accident lawyer can provide valuable legal insight and assistance in navigating such situations.

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 an auto accident 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 an auto accident attorney 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, including San Francisco, and have recovered more than $1 billion in compensation in over 45,000 cases. Contact our team for a car accident attorney for a free evaluation to learn more.

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