Legal Question in Civil Litigation in Florida

I had placed this question to a bankruptcy attorney but havn't heard back in three days could you answer this question :My son did not have bodily injury ins in fla. my son may have a judgement placed against him for an automobile accident that he did not carry bodily injury ins on. He has absolutely no assests and he has to go before a judge for a hearing I guess to see if it should go to mediation. The man insurance comp is suing and the man he hit stated that he was sitting at a red light and my son hit him in the rear when on the police report it states both vechiles were traveling , my sons air bags never deployed we cannot afford an attorney and I know we should have one but we just can't . No one was hurt at the time of the accident he drove away and later went to a hospital. they may place a garnishment on his salary for 17,000 what the ins comp is suing for., he is not workiing at this time he is a college student but if this happens can he in the future claim bankruptcy and have this debt removed? We can not afford an attorney at this time to represent him and he has to go to this hearing soon, although no one ws hurt at the time of the accident this man later claimed he was. We live in florida and his ins company did not tell him he needed bodily injury protection when he purchased it. Can he claim bankrupcty in the future and How long would he have to wait if he could claim bankruptcy?

Asked on 9/11/09, 8:14 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Sarah Grosse Sarah Grosse, Esquire

The first thing to do is get an attorney to defend him in the personal injury suit. If he can minimize or eliminate his liability and damages, there will no need to declare bankruptcy in the future.

Your son will need to consult with a bankruptcy attorney if a judgement is entered against him and he wishes to declare bankruptcy. He will then have to pay a bankruptcy attorney.

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Answered on 9/11/09, 8:23 pm

Angelo Marino Angelo Marino Jr. PA

If your son cannot afford to hire an attorney to represent him in the personal injury case, then he can represent himself. Just have him not agree to any amount of damages and force the plaintiff or the insurance company to prove their case. This requires them having to have a doctor and other experts to show up at trial. Do not waive jury trial if a jury trial was requested by the plaintiff. The cost to try cases is expensive -- doctors can charge as much a $1500 - $3000 to testify--and if you force their hand they may be willing to negotiate the bill in half just to avoid expenses. Many times they will just drop the case. This is true especially if your son tells them that once the judgmemt is entered against him he is going to file bankruptcy. He has to stand firm and not allow them to push him around.

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Answered on 9/12/09, 11:24 am

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