Can I be held at fault for an accident I wasn’t involved in?

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Can I be held at fault for an accident I wasn’t involved in?

I was recently called by my auto insurance company, claiming that my car was involved in an accident 6 months ago. I do not recall such an accidentand was at work on the date and time. I told them as much. I’m afraid that someone got a hold of my information and filed a claim for damages to their car, claiming that I caused them. I am also afraid that my insurance company will not believe me and will find me at fault. If they believe that I lied to them, they could even file criminal charges against me. What should I do?

Asked on September 9, 2011 under Accident Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You need to get a lawyer to advise and represent you (and possibly counterclaim for the damages--e.g. damage to credit rating; legal costs; possibly defamation) you have suffered from being wrongfully accused of this accident.

Legally, you are right--if you were not involved in an accident and it was not your vehicle being used with your permission by another, you are not liable. Practically, the problem may be proving that, if, for example, someone did provide all your information; or if someone borrowered or took your car--even without your knowlwedge--and was involved in an accident. The matter will probably turn on what evidence the other side and you have of your involvement or noninvolvement. Let a lawyer guide and advise you.


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