What to do if I’m being sued for injuries ustained in a car accident?

I was responsible for a somwhat minor rear-end collision almost 2 years ago. I was just served with legal papers; the party I hit is suing me for medical expenses, lost wages, etc. They did not file a claim with my insurance company prior to filing the lawsuit, nor in fact, they did even file a claim for property damage to their car. I turned this matter over to my insurance company to handle and they have assigned an attorney. Did the injured party need to file these claims with my insurance carrier before going the lawsuit route?

Asked on August 16, 2012 under Personal Injury, New Jersey

Answers:

Leigh Anne Timiney / Timiney Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Generally yes, the injured party should have filed a claim with your insurance carrier for their personal injuries and their property damage immediately following the accident.  The fact that they didn't is odd and I don't really understand it.  Waiting almost two years and then actually filing suit against you is the most difficult way for them to seek compensation for their damages.  The fact that they didn't file a claim does not prevent them from bringing the lawsuit, they just made it more difficult on themselves by doing it this way.  It also gives your insurance company the defense that two years have gone by since the time of the accident and many events could have taken place in those two years which would have an effect on the outcome of this lawsuit, such as a second injury to the person who is suing you, or lack of your insurance companies ability to even property investigate the claim because a claim was never brought in the first place.  Your insurance company will handle this for you and from what you have described, it does not sound like a significant claim.  I know this is frustrating.  Good luck to you.  


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.