What to do fi I’m being wrongfully being sued for a minor fender bender?

I got into a minor fender bender accident last year and I thought everything was taken care of through our insurance companies. Now this lady is trying to sue for medical costs, which I heard no mention of from her throughout the

whole process. I honestly feel like she is just trying to get as much compensation out of the accident as she can from me. I firmly believe that she is not telling the truth and would like some expert advice on this matter. I have heard of too many stories of fraudulent behavior with these minor accidents.

Asked on July 19, 2018 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

First, refer it to your insurer--your insurer should defend the matter for you (or at least pay for an attorney); should pay for you if you were to lose (at least up to the limits of your policy); and may be able to stop the case very quickly, if when they paid her for any auto damage, she signed some sort of settlement or release which they have in their files which states that she cannot sue for any more money.
If the insurer cannot or will not help you, retain a lawyer to defend you. The plaintiff (person suing) will have to be able to prove in court the existence and extent and prognosis of her alleged injuries, and will need medical expert testimony and evidence to do so--she can't just make up or claim anything she wants. She also needs to prove the claimed medical costs. She'll also need to prove that *this* accident (and not some pre-existing condition, other injury, or disease) caused the injuries and led to the medical costs. A lawyer will know how to best defend against her claims, shoot down her evidence, and force her to really prove things properly if she wants to win. Of course, if she is suing for too little to justify hiring a lawyer, you may choose to settle the case with her--again, assuming the insurer does not handle it for you--by paying some mutually agreeable amount. If you do settle it on yor own, make sure you get a written and signed settlement agreement that she will not sue you for *anything* more before you turn over any money.


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