What to do if I got a letter stating thatI was being sued for a car accident that happened 3 years ago?

I thought NY was no fault insurance?

Asked on September 15, 2011 under Personal Injury, New York


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

When you are served with the summons and complaint (the complaint is the lawsuit attached to the summons), refer the matter to the auto insurance company you had at the time of the accident.  The insurance company will handle the matter and will provide you with an attorney at no cost to you.

If you did NOT have auto insurance when the accident occurred, you will need to file an answer to the complaint after being served with the summons and complaint and your answer will need to be filed with the court before the deadline stated in the summons elapses.

If you did NOT have auto insurance at the time of the accident, after you are served with the summons and complaint, look for answer to complaint at the law library in the index of Pleading and Practice.  This will give you the general format for an answer to a complaint.  The answer denies the allegations in the complaint.  At the end of the answer is the verification which you sign and date under penalty of perjury.  The verification attests to the veracity of your statements in the answer to the complaint.  Attach a proof of service to the answer to the complaint and file it with the court and mail a copy to the opposing party's attorney.  You can use a court form proof of service or you can write your own.  If you write your own proof of service, it just says that you are at least 18 and the attached documents were sent via first class mail unless stated otherwise to _________ (name and address of opposing attorney) on ___________ (date).  You sign and date the proof of service at the bottom.  The date you sign should be the same as the date of mailing and the same date you file it with the court.

If you don't file the answer to the complaint before the deadline stated in the summons, you will lose by default.  If that happens, you will need to file a motion to set aside the default.  If the court grants your motion to set aside the the default, the case is then back on track and litigation continues.

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