Will bankruptcy stop my auto accident suit?

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Latest post 12-22-2011 9:25 PM by chickendancer. 4 replies.
  • 12-20-2011 2:21 PM

    Will bankruptcy stop my auto accident suit?

    I know that, as long as there was no DUI or malicious intent, you can prevent a judgement from an auto accident case. But, what if the claimant is alleging "reckless driving" and "gross negligence and/or willful disregard or wanton use of vehicle" in his complaint? Can mere allegations prevent a discharge? Because, it wasn't like that, at all. I am not a reckless driver, I just made a mistake that anyone could have made, which resulted in soft tissue injuries to the other driver. And, in fact, because my state has comparative negligence laws, the other driver may be partly responsible. But, at the worst, it was just negligence on my part, and it certainly wasn't intentional. I am insured for more than enough to compensate for his medical bills, but he wants about 10X that amount. That is money I will never see.

    Can I still file, or did the other driver completely screw me over with these mere accusations?

  • 12-20-2011 3:03 PM In reply to

    Re: Will bankruptcy stop my auto accident suit?

    If you have been served with a lawsuit and you file bankruptcy it's likely that the plaintiff will file an adversary action with the bankruptcy court and ask that the bankruptcy be delayed pending the adjudication of the personal injury lawsuit.

    If you have not been served with a lawsuit yet, it's possible that your insurance company might settle within your policy limits.

    See my comments in:

    http://community.lawyers.com/forums/t/116644.aspx

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 12-20-2011 4:20 PM In reply to

    Re: Will bankruptcy stop my auto accident suit?

    Seems like you're getting way ahead of yourself.

    "... you can prevent a judgement from an auto accident case."

    Well, no, that's not true; in context, I gather what you mean is that you would be looking to discharge a judgment in bankruptcy.  (Note there would be zippy point to filing bankruptcy before a judgment has been issued against you.)  What the claimant alleges isn't what's important; it's what the results of the court case bear out (and one presumes that you'd have been charged with a number of things if you committed said crimes, though lack of charges isn't dispositive).

    "I am insured for more than enough to compensate for his medical bills, but he wants about 10X that amount."

    So?  Soft tissue injuries in general do not make even close to a case for 10x medical bills.  Not sure why you're worrying about this, or what you've discussed with your insurer.

    "Can I still file, or did the other driver completely screw me over with these mere accusations?"

    Again, you're getting way ahead of yourself.

  • 12-20-2011 6:06 PM In reply to

    Re: Will bankruptcy stop my auto accident suit?

    Chancey1:
    (Note there would be zippy point to filing bankruptcy before a judgment has been issued against you.)

    That's wrong. It may indeed be the smart thing to do to file bankruptcy before the judgment is rendered. A chapter 7 bankruptcy discharges most debts owed at the time of filing the bankruptcy petition. For a personal injury claim, the debt arises at the time of the accident, not when the judgment is rendered. The judgment simply fixes the amount owed. If the poster waits until a judgment is made against him, he runs the risk that he creditor will record the judgement as a lien, making it a secured debt, which puts him in a worse situation should he file bankruptcy later. So, if he needs to file bankruptcy because of other debts anyway or if it appears likely that the other driver might get a judgment for more than the insurance will cover, he may well want to consider filing the bankruptcy petition prior to a judgment being issued. This is something he'd need to discuss with a local bankruptcy lawyer.

  • 12-22-2011 9:25 PM In reply to

    Re: Will bankruptcy stop my auto accident suit?

    To tell the truth, I don't really have anything they can put a lien on. The little I own is exempt (it ain't much). Rather than risk facing an adversary action, it might be a good idea to just let this lawsuit play out, to whatever end, and file bankruptcy when it's over. If it goes to trial, then so be it. Surely, the jury will, at the very least, find that I'm not the maniac that the plaintiff is making me out to be.

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