What can I do if I filed for bankruptcy and then got into a car accident? 18 Answers as of August 24, 2011I just filed for bankruptcy and then got into a car accident. The accident was my fault and my insurance won't cover all the damages. I am being held responsible to pay for the other drivers medical bills and injuries. What can I do?
Ross Smith, Attorney at Law | Charles Ross Smith III
Good question! Sorry to see you in a bind. But there are some things that you can do. First, your insurance company is going to assign an attorney to defend you. If you have minimum coverage that has clearly been exceeded, they will simply write a check for the covered amount and leave you defenseless. But work with the defense attorney and make sure this is really true before they write the check. For a few hundred dollars, you may be able to hire your own attorney to "check the math" and make sure that your company isn't paying out too early. Also, just because damages exceed the covered amount does not mean that the injured person wants to waste time pursuing you. This is especially true if you have no assets. Lastly, you are still eligible to file a Chapter 13 plan and make payments through the Bankruptcy Court for 3 -5 years. Payments are determined by your ability to pay, but it's complicated. Go see an experienced Chapter 13 attorney. Good luck. Thank you for reading me. I hope you found this answer to be helpful. This answer is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship. It is general information that should be discussed with your own attorney. Because the law in other jurisdictions is different and the facts of each case are different, consumers cannot rely on the opinions expressed here.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
The Law Office of Jacqui Snyder | Jacqui Snyder
You can file a chapter 13 bankruptcy in order to prevent garnishment and have a little more control over how this is paid back. Taking this proactive step will also prevent the insurance company from suspending your license. If you can't pay it off inside the 5 year commitment period, the remaining amount will survive the bankruptcy. You are not currently entitled to a discharge in bankruptcy since you had filed so recently. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
Discuss this with your lawyer (hopefully you did not make the mistake of filing pro se). If you are in a 13 you may be able to dismiss and refile. If you are in a 7 you may be able to convert to a 13 and dismiss. It is hard to get a 7 dismissed and refile, but again, you NEED a lawyer. This may or may not be solvable, but it is 100% certain you won't solve it pro se.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
Unfortunately you can't get a discharge in a Chapter 7 again until 8 years after you filed the last case. You are going to have to pay the damages or settle the claim. There is a Chapter 13 that does allow you to pay the damages against you over a period of five years but that should be the last resort after you try to agree on a payment plan with the person or insurance company making the claim against you. If you are sued you need to get a lawyer to answer the complaint on time and try to resolve the claim before it goes to judgment.
Answer Applies to: California
Melinda Murphy Dionne, PC | Melinda Murphy Dionne
I have had this situation happen with a client before. In his situation, we dismissed the bankruptcy case and filed a new case. Dismissing and filing a new case was the only way to include the post petition car accident debt.
Answer Applies to: Alabama