What to do if I got into a car accident that wasn’t terribly major and both drivers have insurance but either agrees on whose fault it was?

The other person has already gotten legal counsel – since her lawyer sent me a letter asking for the owner of the car, and insurance information. Clearly, she’s getting ready to sue because why not try to make a buck from a completely frivolous situation. What should I do to prepare? Should I also be getting legal counsel? Is she going to sue me or my insurance company?

Asked on July 19, 2015 under Accident Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You would be sued, not your insurer--you always sue the driver you believe to have been at fault, not the insurance company (which did not cause or contribute to the accident). Your insurer should then step in to defend and indemnify you, at least up to your policy limits, if you are sued.

You should let your insurer know and confirm with them that they will defend you if you are sued; then, if you are sued, pass the information and court papers right on to your insurer. You pay your premiums so they will protect you, so do not hesitate to lean on them in this situation. 

Meanwhile, if you have had any costs or losses (e.g. car damage; medical bills) not paid by your own insurance, you could sue the other driver to recover compensation, if you believe she was at fault.

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.