What Happens If I Lose A Car Accident Claim Filed Against Me?

The law does not allow the filing of a lawsuit unless all amicable means have been exhausted. Moreover, the plaintiff must first show that a claim has been made against the insurance company but has been denied or ignored. After a lawsuit is filed, it undergoes a long process of trials fraught with dilatory motions just to delay the case.

At the end of it all, the judge will render a judgment that shall contain a brief summary of the facts and issues discussed. The decision must expressly state the factual and legal bases upon which the resolution is based. The last and most important portion of the decision must enumerate the reliefs granted. In the case of a car accident claim for damages, the decision will contain the kind of damages awarded and the exact value. Otherwise, the decision may be appealed for clarification.

After the decision is promulgated, the parties will be duly notified. The losing party to the car accident claim must comply with the orders of the court and pay the damages awarded. Payment is in cash unless otherwise allowed in other forms such as securities and bonds. The payment cannot be made in installments unless the parties, with the approval of the court, come to an agreement as to the mode of payment. If such an arrangement is granted, the losing party may be charged interest as a consequence of the installment arrangement.

On the other hand, if the losing party does not have enough cash, the court may order that personal and/or real property be garnished. The sheriff will place a levy on the properties of the losing party and sell them at a public auction, the proceeds of which shall be used to satisfy the money judgment.

In case the losing party has neither cash nor sufficient property to satisfy the judgment, the court can order a lien on whatever properties he may acquire in the future. Upon acquisition of properties, the sheriff may execute on such assets. Te property will be sold through public auction and the proceeds will be remitted to the winning party. In the meantime, the victorious party has no choice but hope that the losing party eventually becomes financially capable of paying.

There are, however, prohibitions on garnishment and execution. The law provides that a losing party must not be deprived of the basic necessities in life. Hence, garnishment on salaries is limited to the extent that the losing party can still provide for his basic daily sustenance. Other items such as family home, tools for work, clothing, tombstones, personal effects and similar items are likewise exempt from execution.

In any civil case, the losing party cannot be imprisoned for failure to pay. There is a general proscription for imprisonment for debt provided in the constitution. Money judgments are considered debts, thus no losing party cannot be confined in prison because he/she is unable to pay for the damages awarded to the successful party.