If I was recently involve in a car accident, what is my financial responsibility?

My insurance paid the other party with prorated amount of $990 but the damage was $3808. Now the other party hired a lawyer and was asking me to pay the rest but I don’t have the money to pay it. Am I required to pay for the rest?

Asked on August 14, 2014 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you were at fault in causing the accident (for example, you were driving negligently, or carelessly) then you are potentially liable for all costs or losses of the other party which are not otherwise paid for them, such as by insurance. However, your insurer should not have settled the amount without getting a settlement agreement or release which stops the other party from suing you--that is, the other party should have taken that settlement as payment in full. Ask you insurer if there is a release or settlement agreement; if there is, it can be enforced. If not, ask your insurer why they did not get one and what they plan to do if you are sued--it may that you may have a claim or cause of action against your insurer, for breach of contract or professional negligence, for giving the other party money without making sure you were protected from a lawsuit.


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.