If an accident claimant’s attorney is requesting my insurance policy, what should I do?

I was in an accident a few months ago that wasn’t my fault but there were no witnesses and the police couldn’t determine who was at fault but my insurance company put me at 51% fault which wasn’t true now the passenger of the car that hit me is trying to sue. My insurance company isn’t returning any of my calls regarding the letter they sent me. I received a check for my car and they got one as well. What should I do?

Asked on September 7, 2010 under Accident Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Speak with an attorney. If you feel that your insurer is not honoring its obligations--e.g. refusing to defend or indemnify you to the level they should--you could, if necessary, sue your own insurer. You can and should also defend yourself from the lawsuit, and while insurers often provide attorneys, if they haven't, you need your own.

Note however two things: (1) the insurer is  only obligated up to the coverage limits of whatever coverage you purchased; and (2) if the insurer has made a reasonable determination as to your level of responsibilty, while you can challenge that, it is more difficult to succesfully challenge an adverse, but otherwise responsibly made, determination by your insurer than to challenge when the insurer is simply ignoring its responsibilities.

Again, you need to consult with an attorney who can evaluate both the case against you and your insurer's obligations to you.

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