Can filing a claim after the other party decided not to go through insurance damage me?

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Can filing a claim after the other party decided not to go through insurance damage me?

I was hit by a car backing out of a parking spot who did not even look to see her surroundings. We exchanged information and I was about to file a police report. She decided she did not want to go through insurance and was going to go fix it herself. Later on I decided in my best interest to file the claim anyway as it is the right thing to do and now am wondering can she pursue legal action against me even though she was at fault?

Asked on August 3, 2017 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

She can file a lawsuit against you if she feels (whether rightly or wrongly) that you were at fault and should pay for her damage; the law does not "prescreen" lawsuits to make sure they are valid. That does not mean she will win--to win, she'd need to succssfully prove in court that you were at fault--but it does mean she can legally file the claim and force you to respond to it. (If you fail to respond, you will lose "by default," like forfeiting a ballgame by not showing up.)


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