What to do if I rear-ended someone but they drove off when they found out the police were called because they did not have a license or insurance but they filed a claim against me

Now they are filing an insurance claim with damage way beyond anything I caused. Will they win this?

Asked on November 18, 2014 under Accident Law, Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you rear-ended them, you are probably liable, or financially responsible, for their car damage and injuries; the law presumes that the rear driver in a rear-ending accident is at fault, because he or she should have maintained a safe following distance and speed, so as to be able to brake in time, and should have been paying attention to the car ahead, again, so as to be able to brake in time. If you hit another car from behind, it's generally because you were too close, too fast, not paying attention, etc.

However, even if you are at fault, they can only recover an amount of compensation equal to the actual damage and injuries you caused and the losses provably linked to the accident. They cannot simply get any amount they'd like. They have to be able to prove the amount they are claiming and show how you caused it.

If you have insurance, as you seem to from what you write, turn this matter over to your insurer, if you have not already. Your insurer will, to the limits of your policy, defend you and/or indemnify (pay damages for) you.

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