What to do if I’m being sued for personal injury claim from parking lot accident 2 years ago?

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What to do if I’m being sued for personal injury claim from parking lot accident 2 years ago?

I backed into SUV that was moving behind me. I accidentally hit my accelerator and hit her driver side between her car door and the backseat door My insurance has $100,000 maximum bodily injury. How much can I be conceivably sued for and do I have to give up my house and 401k if claimant sues me for more than the insurance pays? She is claiming permanent disability though I have not heard anything from her since the accident occurred.

Asked on May 24, 2014 under Personal Injury, Connecticut

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Ok let's not jump the gun here.  First be aware that the lawsuit will claim millions in damages in what is known as the "ad damnum" clause, which is the last line of the complaint where the plaintiff claims the maximum amount they supposedly can receive in the lawsuit.  It is always high because if they put $10 dollars they would be limited to those damages.  It does not mean that her injuries are worth that much. Next, forward what ever documents you get to your insurance company immediately.  Under the law they owe you a defense and indemnification as long as they are notified in the first instance (and I hope they knew about the first accident as well). Make sure that the lawyers assigned make sure that she has sued with in the Statute of Limitations.  In CT it is two years so they are cutting it close. You will also get a letter from your insurance company telling you the name of the attorney assigned to your case and telling you that you are entitled to get your own attorney to consult since the plaintiff has sued over and above the policy limits. You can consult an attorney on your own dime but wait and ask your assigned attorney - who works for YOU not the insurance company under the Canons of Ethics lawyers are held to - what their assessment of the injuries are here.  Plaintiff's have to claim that they have a permanent disability in the pleadings to look good at first instance in the court. In CT the general rule is whoever is found liable for an injury must provide compensation intended to restore an injured victim to his or state prior to the accident.  I get the feeling that if she were truly injured then the police and ambulance would have been at the scene and you would have been sued a lot sooner than at the statute so please: don't cash in that 401K just yet.  You have a decent amount of coverage. Just wait and see.  Good luck.


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