Many people believe that if they are at fault for a car accident, they will lose their assets if they are found liable. However, even if you are at fault in an accident, and found liable, there are some methods you can follow to protect your assets.
Let’s briefly examine all of the measures you can take to safeguard your assets.
Titling each car in the name of the primary driver is the easiest thing you can do to protect your assets. The exception is if a car is to be driven by a minor child. Parents are liable for the actions of their children until they become adults.
The day a child turns 18, you can give the vehicle to them as a gift. At that time, the title of the car can be in their name. If your spouse drives a particular vehicle, the title to that vehicle should be in their name. Each spouse is thus responsible only for the liability they incur. This will help protect the family financially.
An umbrella liability insurance policy provides personal liability and casualty protection beyond the standard auto insurance policy limits. Insurance policies pay only within their limits.
The outcome of a fatal car crash or a catastrophic injury can result in liability far beyond that of the standard auto policy limits.
Thus, if your auto insurance coverage has a limit of $400,000, and you are held liable for $600,000 in damages, an umbrella policy might cover the balance. The extra $200,000 should be covered within the limit of that policy.
Texas recognizes joint tenancy for husband and wife. Under this form of ownership, both spouses are considered to own an undivided interest in 100% of the property, which cannot be taken for the debts of only one of them. This form of a property provides strong asset protection for a couple. The key is to make sure assets like real estate are held in joint tenancy, while automobiles are driven and owned only by one or the other of the spouses.
In taking possession of your house, business property, or other real estate, you must consider the title very carefully. A good San Antonio attorney can advise you on how to organize your property before any accident.
The injured party’s attorney will make a claim for compensation, which may or may not exhaust the insurance limits of the defendant. During and after court proceedings, the defendant will be examined for their ability to pay a judgment and can expect to be asked to make a declaration of assets. The time to take steps to protect assets is before any accident occurs.
Texas is a fault state for motor vehicle accidents. The party held to be liable will be responsible for damages caused by the car accident. Our experienced San Antonio car accident lawyers can guide you if you want to protect your assets. Call today for an appointment.