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I'm sorry to hear about your situation. He should absolutely file an answer. (a form can be found here: http://texaslawhelp.org/files/685E99A9-A3EB-6584-CA74-137E0474AE2C/attachments/FF31AD8A-CA4D-4642-9E8B-744A405D7835/answer-civil-and-information-sheet-2012.pdf) The reason is that if he does not, the plaintiff can get a judgment on him (if there has already been service of process).
Now that being said, to answer your question: It depends.
Most of the time there is a settlement that is entered into between the insurance and the injured. This settlement is a waiver of claims by the injured, against everyone involved.
He would need to look at the terms of this settlement.
As for what can be recovered: Social security and military retirement are exempt from personal injury judgments. A judgment lien can be put against your home, but they can't enforce it unless and until you try to sell it. That is , they can't force a foreclosure.
As for your assets, that's a bit more difficult. It's possible that they could try to go after your assets. They can't garnish your wages, but can go after marital property (i.e. Wages that go into a common account). One way to get around this is to have the bank account in your name only.
Again, this should be answered, which will give you more time to get the facts and put forward a defense. That defense could very well be that the plaintiff waived rights and doesn't get a second chance at it. But that is entirely dependent upon those facts.
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