What assets can be taken in a personal injury lawsuit?
My nephew rear-ended a woman 5 years ago, and he and my sister (insurance policy holder at the time) are being sued for injuries, doctor bills, etc. above the insurance liability amount. Can their houses and 401k retirement savings be taken? They both have vehicles, one old one paid for, one with a loan out on it. One house paid for, one house mortgaged. Low income, but not low enough to get any "free governmental aid".
Retirement plans can't be reached by a judgment creditor.
Other than that, the result might be different, between the two of them. Certainly, it's possible that an automobile or a home owned by your nephew, could be taken and sold. Any loans on either kind of property would be paid off first, out of any proceeds, and the creditor would only get any excess; if there's no equity, a judge might be persuaded to prevent the sale, since it wouldn't do the creditor any good. Your sister's liability might be more limited, but whatever liability she has, the judgment would work the same way. There are a lot of technical details to this, and they might also want to consider bankruptcy. They need legal advice, and your sister might want to talk to a separate lawyer from your nephew.