Can an insurance company sue me for something that I already settled in court?

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Can an insurance company sue me for something that I already settled in court?

I was charged with criminal mischief for keying a car but my lawyer worked things out. I just paid the person’s deductible as restitution and the charges were dismissed. Now, the person’s insurance company is calling me to pay? Can they sue me or make me pay even though I already settled?

Asked on October 8, 2010 under Insurance Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You are confusing the criminal and civil courts, which have pretty much nothing to do with each other. If you were charged with criminal mischief, that was in the criminal courts; whatever penalty you worked out there, including restitition to the victim, was imposed by the criminal court. However, insurance companies--or anyone who pays or losses money out of pocket--can sue in civil court to recover their own losses or outlay. So if the insurance company paid to repaint the victim's car, the insurer can sue you to recover the money they paid out. The resititution you paid to the victim from criminal court has nothing at all to do with another party's (the insurer) right to sue in civil court for money they had to pay as a result of your actions.


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